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1 

""'       Sffl 

\^ 

ANDOVER-HARVARD  THEOLOGICAL 

LIBRARY 

CAMBRIDGE,  MASSACHUSETTS 

Uay  10,    1866 

% 

'-           f 

^^^^^H 

^^.^^X-,-^ 


o 


AUTOBIOGEAPHY, 


CORRESPONDENCE,  ETC., 


OF 


LYMAN  BE  EC  HER,  D.H 


KDTTED  BT 


CHARLES    BEECHER. 


fftft  Illttstratronff. 


IN     TWO     VOLUMBS. 


HARPER   &    BROTHERS,   PUBLISHERS, 

FRAllKLtlf    SQUABB. 
18  04. 


i" 


Entered,  according  to  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  one  thousand  eight 

hundred  and  sixty-three,  by 

HABPEB  &  BROTHERS) 

In  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Coart  of  the  Southern  District  of 

New  York. 


\ 
t 


CONTENTS  OF  VOL.  I. 


CHAPTER  I.  PAoi 

iKTBOOCCnOH 9 

CHAPTER  IL 

ANCXfllRT 17 

CHAPTER  III. 
Eably  Data 28 

CHAPTER  IV. 
Earlt  Education 26 

CHAPTER  V. 
FtrriKO  FOB  College 80 

CHAPTER  VI. 
Tai^e 32 

CHAPTER  VII. 
Ya.'le^  Continued 86 

CHAPTER  VIII. 
Religious  Awakekino 89 

CHAPTER  IX. 
Seniob  Tear 42 

CHAPTER  X. 

KUTPLAINS... 52 

CHAPTER  XI. 

BOXANA  FOOTE 


IV  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  Xn.  p^Q, 

DlTIHITT  YeAB G8 

CHAPTER  XIII. 
Prelude  to  Eablt  Cobrespokdekce 73 

CHAPTER  XIV. 
Eablt  Cobbesfondenob 77 

CHAPTER  XV. 

COMMEirCEMEIlT  OF  M1NI8TBT 89 

CHAPTER  XVI 
East  Haxfion 94 

CHAPTER  XVn. 

PBBAOHIKa  AB  A  CaKDIDATB 99 

CHAPTER  XVIII. 
Obdination 106 

CHAPTER  XIX. 
Settiko  up  Housbkeepino 119 

CHAPTER  XX. 
Ill  Health 127 

CHAPTER  XXI. 
Mabt  Hcbbard 136 

CHAPTER  XXn. 
Thb  School 141 

CHAPTER  XXIII. 
Household  Recollections 143 

CHAPTER  XXIV. 
Eablt  Authobship 150 

CHAPTER  XXV. 
')B  UP  THE  North  Rivkb 157 


CONTENTS.  V 

CHAPTER  XXVI.  p^u,j 

Habtbst 161 

CHAPTEU  XXVII. 
Cathoucitt .^ 170 

CHAPTER  XXVIII. 

MONTAUK ,...    176 

CIUPTER  XXIX. 
ResoLTEs  TO  LEATE  Eabt  Haicfton 178 

CHAPTER  XXX. 
Visits  LrrcnFiELD— Letters 188 

CHAPTER  XXXI. 
Fabewell  to  East  Hampton 194 

CHAPTER  XXXII. 

LlTCHFIELd 204 

CHAPTER  XXXIII. 
Rbmotal 214 

CHAPTER  XXXIV. 

REXI5I8CEKCE8  OF  LiTCIIFlELD 219 

CHAPTER  XXXV. 

CORBBSPOICDXKCE,  1810-11 230 

CHAPTER  XXXVI. 

COBBEBFONDENCE,  1811-12 , 239 

CHAPTER  XXXVII. 

■ 

The  Tempebamce  Reformation 244 

CHAPTER  XXXVIII. 
AoiTAnoM 253 

CHAPTER  XXXIX. 

Obgakizimo 259 

A  2 


VI  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  XL.  p^o. 

The  Labt  Wab, 266 

CHAPTER  XLI. 
BuiLDiKo  Waste  Places ^ 268 

CHAPTER  XLII. 
AnrucnoNS 276 

CHAPTER  XLin. 
Domestic  Affaies 281 

CHAPTER  XLIV. 

COBBESPONDEKCE,  1815-16 287 

CHAPTER  XLV. 
Beeeatement : 292 

CHAPTER  XL VI. 
Filial  Recollections « 301 

CHAPTER  XLVn. 
Visit  to  Ndtplains 810 

CHAPTER  XL VIII. 
Aunt  Estheb 820 

CHAPTER  XLIX. 
Beviniscekces  of  DilDwight 828 

CHAPTER  L. 

COBBESPONDEMGE,  1816-17 332 

CHAPTER  LL 
Bowmfall  of  the  Standing  Ordeb 342 

CHAPTER  LIL 
The  Bible  a  Code  of  Laws 850 

CHAPTER  LHI. 
Habbiet  Pobteb 864 


•  • 


CONTEXTS.  VU 

CHAPTER  UV.  ,^, 

CosRE8POin>KK0B,  1817-18 864 

CHAPTER  LV. 

COBBESFOHDENCB,  1818-19 875 

CHAPTER  LVI. 

CORBBSPONDBKCB,  1819 884 

CHAlrrER  Lvn. 

Thb  Toleration  I>rbam 892 

CHAPTER  LVni. 

COBRESFOITDEIICE,  1819 407 

CHAPTER  LDC. 
The  Local  Chubch 414 

CHAPTER  LX. 
C0BRE8PONDENCE,  1819 419 

CHAPTER  LXI. 

COBBESFOKDEHCS,  1820 425 


N 


CHAPTER  LXn. 

COBEESPORDEHCB,  1820-21 435 

CHAPTER  LXIII. 
Otebwobk 452 

CHAPTER  LXIV. 

COBBESPOVDXNCB,  1821 458 

CHAPTER  LXV. 

C0BBB8P0in>BHCB,  1821 489 

CHAPTER  LXVI. 

COBBBSPOHDBKCE,  1822 478 

CHAPTER  LXVII. 

COBBESPOKDBKCE,  1823 .T 


•  «  • 


VIU  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  LXVin.  p^„ 

Ck>nBE8F0NDENCB,  1823 505 

CHAPTER  LXIX. 
Eablt  Rkxbmbbances 520 

CHAPTER  LXX. 

CORRESPOKDEKCB,  1828 538 

CHAPTER  LXXI. 
COBRXSFOHIi^CX,  1824 548 

CHAPTER  LXXII. 
The  Faith  ohcs  Delivebed  to  the  Saints 553 


ADTOBIOGRAFHT,  CORRESPONDENCE,  ETC. 


CHAPTER  L 

INTBODDCTION. 


EioHTEEN  years  after  the  Maj^over  brought  the  firet  Pil- 
grim Fathers,  there  arrived  in  Boston  the  moat  opulent  com- 
pany of  any  who  had  settled  in  Kew  England.  It  was  led 
by  John  Davenport,  a  celebrated  London  clergymaii.  With 
him  was  Theophilos  Eaton,  formerly  ambassador  to  Den- 
mark, and  afterward  deputy  governor  of  India,  where  hi 


10  AUTOBIOGBAPBT. 

made  a  large  fortune.  With  these  were  other  merchants  of 
London  of  good  estates,  brin^g  with  them  servants  and  an 
abundance  of  household  stufis.  The  Massachusetts  planters 
were  anxious  to  retain  so  respectable  a  company,  and  made 
very  liberal  offers. 

But  at  that  time  the  Antinomian  controversy  originated 
by  Mrs.  Anne  Hutchinson  was  at  its  height.  Sir  Harry 
Yane  and  some  of  the  chief  ministers  and  magistrates  sueh 
tuned  her  views,  but  the  great  majority  were  against  her, 
and  all  the  colonists  were  involved  in  the  conflict. 

To  avoid  this  and  other  dangers,  it  was  decided  to  estab- 
lish an  independent  colony.  Eaton  and  others  explored  the 
country,  and  decided  to  settle  at  Quinnipiac,  now  New  Ha- 
ven, on  account  of  its  good  harbor.  The  Dutch  explorers 
had  named  it  Jied  Mounts  from  the  red  c}i£&,  now  called  East 
and  West  Rock. 

After  fixing  upon  a  site  and  building  a  hut,  Eaton  return- 
ed to  Boston,  leaving  a  small  party  to  guard  the  premises, 
among  whom,  tradition  states,  was  John  Beecher,  from  whom 
the  subject  of  this  narrative  is  descended. 

A  fortnight's  stormy  voyage  in  the  ensuing  spring  brought 
the  company  to  their  wilderness  home,  and  their  first  Sab- 
bath service  was  on  the  spot  where  now  stands  the  old 
Beecher  House,  near  the  comer  of  George  and  Chapel  Street, 
as  shown  in  the  vignette  of  Chapter  H. 

Ere  long  the  city  was  laid  out  on  the  present  plan,  while 
in  after  days  James  Hillhouse  planted  the  colonnades  of 
embowering  greens  which  have  given  to  New  Haven  the 
favorite  name  of  JEbn  City. 

A  year  after  the  settlement  of  New  Haven,  a  goodly  com- 
pany from  Kent  and  Sussex  established  a  colony  at  Menun- 
katunk,  now  Guilford.  The  leaders  were  Henry  Whitfield, 
a  wealthy  and  distinguished  clergyman,  and  Samuel  Des- 


IXTBODUCnON.  1 1 

borough,  afterward  member  of  Parliament  from  Edinburgh, 
and  finally  Lord  Chancellor  of  Scotland. 

The  large  stone  honse,  built  by  Rev.  Mr.  Whitfield,  and 
said  by  tradition  to  be  the  oldest  in  the  country,  is  still 
standing  in  perfect  preservation. 

Lord  Desborough  was  chief  magistrate  of  Guilford  nine 
years,  and  was  succeeded  by  William  Leet,  a  lawyer  of  Cam- 
bridge, and  register  of  the  Bishops'  Court  With  these 
came  nearly  forty  g^itlemen  of  education  and  means.  There 
was  not  a  merchant  or  mechanic  among  them,  and  it  was 
with  trouble  and  expense  that  they  secured  even  a  black- 
smith. 

At  that  day  distinctions  in  society  were  marked  by  titles 
of  address,  by  dress,  and  by  manners.  Clergymen,  the  grad- 
uates of  colleges,  planters  of  good  family,  and  members  of 
the  General  Court,  were  called  gentlemen^  and  addressed  by 
the  term  Mr. 

Those  without  these  advantages  were  called  yeameny  and 
this  dass  included  those  of  respectable  character  who  own- 
ed land,  also  the  better  class  of  laborers  and  tenants.  A 
yeoman  was  addressed  as  Ooodmauy  and  his  wife  as  Oood- 
icife  or  Ooody,  Most  of  the  Guilford  planters  bore  the  title 
of  Jfr. 

At  the  time  when  this  narrative  opens,  these  marked  dis- 
tinctions of  society  had  in  a  measure  ceased ;  still,  in  Guil- 
ford, at  this  time,  there  was  a  class,  quite  a  number  of  whom 
would  be  designated  as  "  gentlemen  of  the  old  school,''  as 
that  term  has  been  used.  At  the  present  day,  it  is  rare  to 
find  in  so  small  a  village  so  large  a  proportion  of  persons 
of  literary  tafites  and  refined  culture.  For  example,  besides 
the  two  clergymen,  there  were  Joseph  Pyncheon,  a  wealthy 
farmer ;  his  son,  a  physician ;  Henry  Caldwell,  a  merchant ; 
Nathaniel  Rossiter,  a  lawyer ;  Henry  Hill,  a  farmer :  these 


12  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

m 

all  had  a  collegiate  education.  Several  others  might  be 
named,  who,  amid  farming  and  mechanical  pursuits,  found 
time  for  refined  and  literary  culture.  Of  this  circle  was 
General  Andrew  Ward,  who  at  first  resided  in  the  centre 
of  the  town,  and  afterward  on  a  farm  of  about  two  hundred 
acres,  forming  a  portion  of  some  narrow  plains,  between 
wooded  hills,  which,  from  their  chief  products,  were  called 
Ifutplains. 

Another  gentleman  living  in  Guilford  at  this  time,  Dr. 
Beecher's  future  &ther-in  law,  was  Eli  Foote. 

He  was  of  a  family  which,  according  to  tradition,  traces 
its  genealogy  back  to  the  man  who  aided  Eang  Charles  to 
conceal  himself  in  the  "royal  oak,"  which  stood  in  a  field 
of  clover.  As  a  reward,  he  was  knighted ;  and  the  Foote 
coat  of  arms  bears  an  oak  for  its  crest  and  a  clover-leaf  in 
its  quarterings.'*' 

The  town  of  Guilford  was  laid  out,  like  that  of  New  Ha- 
ven, around  a  central  square,  on  which  were  placed  the 
church  and  its  surrounding  home  for  the  dead.  The  settlers 
at  first  clustered  around  this  centre,  but  soon  their  farms 
extended  on  every  side.  In  the  northern  portion,  now  call- 
ed North  Guilford,  was  the  homestead  of  Lot  Benton,  whose 
house,  the  scene  of  Dr.  Beecher's  childhood,  appears  in  the 
vignette  of  Chapter  HI. 

The  country  around  consists  of  rocky  hills  and  valleys, 
gradually  rising  to  where  Old  Bhaff  Head  lifts  its  wooded 
summit  four  hundred  feet,  and  then  descends,  precipitous 

*  Although  the  colonies  of  New  HaTen,  Goilford,  and  Saybrook  em- 
braced a  larger  proportion  of  gentlemen,  in  distinction  from  yeomen,  than 
any  of  the  others,  yet  it  is  steted  in  HoUister's  Histoiy  of  Clonnecticut 
that  more  ihaxifowfifiki  of  the  early  land  proprietors  of  Hartford,  Wind- 
sor, and  Wethersfield  belonged  to  families  having  coats  of  arms  in  Great 
Britain. 


INTRODUCnOK.  13 

and  bare,  to  a  beantifal  lake  embowered  in  thick  woods. 
From  these  heights  descend  the  clear  trout-brooks^  now  tink- 
ling and  glancing  up  from  deep  ravines  by  the  road,  and 
then  dancing  over  white  pebbles  along  the  country  paths, 
lined  with  billows  of  rosy  laurel  (kalmias). 

These  are  the  scenes  in  the  midst  of  which  Dr.  Beecher's 
mind  received  its  earliest,  most  vivid,  and  most  enduring 
impressions. 

As  the  memories  of  later  years  began  to  fade  by  degrees, 
those  of  childhood  and  youth  seemed,  as  has  been  so  often 
witnessed  in  the  aged,  to  acquire  increased  freshness  and 
vividness.  As  ho  told  the  simple  story  of  his  boyish  days 
to  his  listening  children,  he  seemed  himself  again  a  child. 
Again  he  roamed  the  hunting-grounds ;  again  followed  the 
trouting-brooks,  rehearsing  his  piscatory  exploits  with  the 
zest  of  actual  reality.  To  the  stranger  some  of  these  inci- 
dents may  seem  trivial,  unworthy  of  a  place  in  the  history 
of  a  grave  divine^  and  it  must  be  confessed  they  lack,  when 
read,  a  certain  nameless  charm,  which  only  the  inimitable 
manner  of  recital  could  throw  around  them. 

These  earlier  reminiscences,  however,  had  so  much  elec- 
tricity in  them — ^they  revealed  so  vividly  what  he  must  have 
been  in  the  keenness  of  his  sportsmanlike  tastes — they  con- 
tained such  a  curious  mixture  of  pathos  and  oddity,  that 
those  who  listened  could  not  bear  altogether  to  suppress 
them. 

Mirthfubess  was  such  a  constitutional  trait,  espeeially  in 
conversation,  that  it  is  impossible  to  preserve  the  impres- 
sions of  many  of  his  brief,  crisp  sayings. 

A  printed  word  may  seem  to  frown,  which,  as  spoken, 
only  smiled. 

It  was  in  recalling  the  impressions  of  opening  existence 
that  he  also  recalled,  in  all  its  freshness,  the  peculiar  dialect 


14  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

of  that  period,  the  vigorous  veraacular  of  a  Connecticut 
farmer's  boy  of  eighty  years  ago.  Traces  of  the  rustic  dia- 
lect always  clung  to  him  through  life  in  private  conversation 
and  in  the  freedom  of  animated  extempore  preaching.  Thus, 
he  would  always  say  creetur*  and  natur*. 

At  the  same  time,  in  all  matters  of  written  style,  few  men 
have  been  more  fastidious  or  more  unwearied  in  the  use  of 
the  file.  As  his  sister  used  to  say,  ^^  He  was  given  to  the 
lust  of  finishing." 

It  was  his  favorite  plan,  during  the  latter  part  of  his  life, 
to  write  a  history  of  his  own  life  and  times,  and  more  than 
once  the  work  was  commenced,  and  would  have  been  com- 
pleted had  it  not  been  for  the  said  love  of  finishing,  and  the 
incessant  demands  of  practical  responsibilities  that  never 
gave  him  time  to  finish. 

When  he  had  nearly  reached  the  boundary  of  threescore 
years  and  ten,  the  hope  of  accomplishing  the  design  van- 
ished, and  he  appealed  to  his  children  for  aid. 

They  gladly  commenced  the  work,  and,  as  the  first  step, 
the  son  to  whom  he  intrusted  the  chief  labor  received  and 
arranged  his  sermons,  letters,  and  other  manuscripts. 

Then,  in  a  quiet,  social  way,  in  the  sitting-room  of  his 
daughter,  Mrs.  Stowe,  he  detailed  the  recollections  of  his  life, 
which  were  taken  down  as  they  fell  from  his  lips.  If  his 
memory  flagged,  or  any  facts  were  left  obscure,  he  was  plied 
with  questions  to  elicit  whatever  his  children  deemed  of 

interest. 

Afterward,  letters  and  other  documents  material  to  the 
history  were  incorporated,  and  the  whole  read  over  to  him 
in  the  same  social  manner,  drawing  forth  comments,  and  ac- 
companied by  other  questions  and  answers,  some  of  which 
were  preserved.  These  were  some  of  the  happiest  hours 
of  his  life.    They  would  constitute  by  themselves,  if  any  ad- 


INTRODUCTION.  15 

equate  idea  conld  be  conveyed  of  them,  one  of  the  most 
characteristic  and  striking  portions  of  that  life. 

At  subsequent  times,  the  whole  work,  or  material  portions 
of  it,  were  read  over  to  him  when  others  of  his  children 
were  present,  and  their  recollections  preserved. 

Thus  the  work,  especially  in  its  earlier  portions,  gradually 
grew  into  a  conversational  history  by  Dr.  Beecher  and  his 
children.  Farther  on,  conversation  yields  to  correspondence 
— a  taste  for  which  may  fairly  be  said  to  be  hereditary  in 
the  family.  It  is  only  with  these  qualifications,  then,  that  the 
work  can  be  called  an  Autobiography,  being  based  upon  a 
narrative  the  thread  of  which  winds  through  the  whole. 

Few  can  appreciate  the  difficulties  of  an  attempt  to  con- 
vey a  lifelike  impression  of  a  man  so  much  of  whose  power 
was  exeii;ed  in  bursts  of  extempore  eloquence,  both  in  pub- 
lic and  in  council  with  his  ministerial  brethren,  and  many 
of  whose  best  things — ^the  apt  illustration,  the  quick  repar- 
tee, the  quaint  humor,  the  trenchant  wit — were  necessarily 
evanescent.  Yet  those  who  knew  him  in  his  palmy  days, 
and  who  remembered  him  in  the  full  tide  of  glorious  revival 
triumphs,  and  who  recall  the  life,  the  magnetism  he  impart- 
ed to  all  who  came  in  contact  with  him,  will  sympathize 
with  his  children  in  their  regretful  feeling  that  the  difficul- 
ties alluded  to  have  become  impossibilities. 

It  is  but  a  pale  and  faded  likeness,  a  faint  and  feeble  im- 
pression we  can  hope  to  convey  of  that  so  good  and  great 
that  is  gone  from  us  unto  God. 

Our  humble  endeavor  will  be,  as  far  as  possible,  to  let  him, 
though  dead,  yet  speak ;  to  let  that  heart  speak,  so  rich  in 
domestic  affection,  so  unwavering  in  loyalty  to  Christ,  so 
deathless  in  its  desire  to  win  souls. 

We  would  let  the  one  idea  of  his  life,  that  suffused  it  in 
every  part  with  a  warm  and  tender  radiance,  the  idea  of  en- 


Id  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

tire  consecration  to  the  Master's  work  and  to  the  salvation 
of  men,  sufifuse  these  pages  as  with  a  halo  of  the  glory  unto 
which  he  is  gone. 

And  our  prayer  is  that  this  memorial  may  be  accepted  by 
the  great  Head  of  the  Church,  and  honored  to  continue  in 
days  to  come  that  which  formed  the  single  object  of  his 
life — the  promotion  of  revivals  of  religion,  and  the  hastening 
forward  of  the  glad  day  when  the  whole  world  shall  be  con- 
verted unto  Christ. 


ANCKSTKV. 


CHAPTER  II. 

ANCK3TBT. 


Mt  ancestors  came  from  England  to  New  Haven  with 
Davenport  in  1638.  There  was  one  Hamiah  Beechcr,  a  wid- 
ow (whose  husband  had  died  just  before  they  sailed),  and 
her  son  John.  She  was  aboat  to  leave  the  enterprise  on  her 
husband's  death,  hut,  being  a  midwife,  thc^  promised  her,  if 
she  would  come,  her  husband's  share  in  the  town  plot. 

This  promise  was  kept,  and  it  was  under  a  large  spread- 
ing oak  that  grew  on  her  land  that  they  kept  their  first  Sab- 
bath, April  15, 1638;  and  P^venport  preached  the  flrst  ser- 


18  AUTOmOGBAFHT. 

nion,  from  Matt.,  iv.,  1 :  '^Then  was  Jesus  led  up  of  the  Spirit 
into  the  wilderness  to  be  tempted  of  the  devil." 

I  suppose  they  thought  that  was  what  they  had  come  for. 
The  text  is  a  good  sermon  enough  in  itself.  It  was  a  proph- 
ecy of  all  that  has  happened  since.  I  don't  know  any  thing 
more  of  Hannah,  except  that  the  inyentory  of  her  estate, 
after  her  death  in  1659,  amounted  to  £55  58.  6d, 

I  know  nothing,  either,  about  her  son  John.  Of  his  son, 
Joseph  Beecher,  I  know  two  things :  first,  that  he  married 
a  Pomeroy,  who,  after  his  death,  married  a  Lyman ;  and, 
second,  that  he  was  of  great  muscular  strength,  bein^  able 
to  lift  a  barrel  of  cider,  and  drink  out  of  the  bung-hole. 

Nathaniel  Beecher,  the  son  of  Joseph,  was  my  grandfather. 
He  was  not  quite  so  strong  as  his  father,  being  only  able  to 
lift  a  barrel  of  cider  into  a  cart.  He  was  six  feet  high,  and 
a  blacksmith  by  trade.  His  anvil  stood  on  the  stump  of  the 
old  oak-tree  under  which  Davenport  preached  the  first  ser- 
mon ;  just  the  place  for  a  strong  man  to  strike  while  the  iron 
was  hot,  and  hit  the  nail  on  the  head.  He  married  Sai'ah 
Sperry,  a  descendant,  probably,  of  Richard  Sperry,  one  of 
the  original  settlers  of  1639-1645.  Her  mother  was  a  Rob- 
erts, the  daughter  of  a  full-blooded  Welshman.  Sarah  Beech- 
er was  a  pious  woman,  and  there  is  a  curious  relic  of  her 
among  my  papers,  entitled,  "  Sarah  Beecher,  her  Experien- 
ces," in  which  she  mentions  *^  being  bom  of  such  parents, 
who,  by  instruction  and  example,  taught  me  to  serve  God." 

My  father,  David  Beecher,  the  son  of  Nathaniel,  was 
short,  like  his  mother,  and  could  lift  a  barrel  of  cider  and 
carry  it  into  the  cellar.  He  was  a  blacksmith,  and  worked 
on  the  same  anvil  his  father  had  before  him,  on  the  old  oak 
stump. 

In  summer  he  worked  on  his  &rm,  and  raised  the  nicest 
rye,  white  as  wheat. 


ANCBSTBT.  19 

He  kept  a  hired  man  in  the  shop,  and,  besides  the  usual 
smith-work,  made  the  best  hoes  in  New  England.  Judge 
Pickett,  of  Nova  Scotia,  wanted  a  dozen  or  two  of  his  hoes, 
but  the  duty  was  too  high ;  so  he  promised  to  send  him  a 
barrel  of  seed-corn,  with  something  else  besides  in  it;  what 
that  was  I  sha'n't  tell. 

He  lived  well,  according  to  the  times,  and  laid  up  four  or 
five  thousand  dollars. 

In  those  days,  six  mahogany  chairs  in  a  shut-up  parlor 
were  considered  magnificent ;  he  never  got  beyond  cherry. 

He  was  one  of  the  best-read  men  in  New  England,  well 
versed  in  Astronomy,  Geography,  and  History,  and  in  the 
interests  of  the  Protestant  Reformation,  and  enjoyed  the  re- 
spect of  the  educated  circles*  He  was  fond  of  politics,  and 
an  attentive  reader  of  the  single  newspaper  then  published 
in  New  Haven.  Old  Squire  Roger  Sherman  (one  of  the 
signers  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence)  used  to  say  that 
he  always  calculated  to  see  Mr.  Beecher  as  soon  as  he  got 
home  from  Congress,  to  talk  over  the  particulars. 

He  always  kept  a  number  of  college  students  and  of  rep- 
resentatives to  the  Legislature  as  boarders,  being  fond  of 
their  conversation.  He  often  kept  pace  with  his  student- 
boarders  in  their  studies,  frequently  spending  his  evenings 
in  their  rooms.  He  had  a  tenacious  memory  for  what  he 
read,  but  was  entirely  careless  and  forgetful  as  to  his  dress, 
hat,  tools,  etc.  Your  Aunt  Esther  says  she  has  known  him 
at  least  twelve  times  come  in  from  the  bam  and  sit  down 

« 

on  a  coat-pocket  full  of  eggs,  jump  up,  and  say,  ^^Oh,  wife!" 
"  Why,  my  dear,"  she  would  reply, "  I  do  wonder  you 
can  put  eggs  in  your  pocket  after  you  have  broken  them  so 
once." 

"  Well,"  he  would  say, "  I  thought  I  should  remember 
this  time." 


20  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

He  was  fond  of  fun,  and  enjoyed  a  joke  as  much  as  other 
folks. 

He  was,  on  the  whole,  a  good  deal  like  me ;  in  fact,  since 
I  was  sixty  years  of  age,  Esther  has  often  called  me  "fa- 
ther" instead  of  "brother."  He  was  just  of  my  height — 
five  feet  seven  and  a  half  inches  —  with  the  same  colored 
hair,  eyes,  and  complexion,  though  I  am  a  little  the  heavier. 
Esther  says  his  eyes  were  the  most  beautiful  she  ever  saw ; 
my  Frederick,  that  died  in  Litchfield,  had  >£yes  just  like 
them.  If  father  had  received  a  regular  education  he  would 
have  been  equal  to  any  body. 

He  was  very  fond  of  pets.  Esther^s  cats  were  his  as  much 
as  hers.  He  would  go  to  bed  first,  saying  to  the  cat, "  Come, 
Hector,  we'll  go  to  bed ;"  and  when  mother  came  up  Hector 
would  run  down  to  Esther's  bed. 

From  keeping  boarders,  it  came  about  that  his  table  was 
rather  better  than  farmers'  tables,  and  his  cooking  and  sea- 
soning rather  too  rich,  and  so  he  suffered  severely  from  dys- 
pepsia, and  this  produced  hypochondria.  He  would  pass 
from  a  state  of  cheerfulness  to  one  of  acute  distress,  appar- 
ently without  any  cause. 

"  Oh,"  said  he  to  Esther  once,  as  she  was  stroking  her 
pet  kitten, "  I  would  give  all  the  world  if  any  body  loved  me 
^  as  you  love  that  kitten." 

"  Why,  father,"  she  replied,  quite  shocked, "  you  know 
that  I  love  you,  and  so  does  mother." 

"  No  you  don't,"  said  he.  "  You  don't  love  me  a  bit ; 
you  wish  I  was  dead  and  out  of  the  way." 

Esther's  mother,  his  last  wife,  who  outlived  him,  and  who 
was  a  very  pious  woman,  had  learned  to  perceive  the  ap- 
proach of  these  turns,  and  knew  how  to  treat  them.  I  knew 
all  about  them ;  have  had  just  such  feelings  myself. 

He  was  five  times  married.    His  first  wife  was  Mary 


«  AKOBBTBT.  21 

Austin;  the  second,  Lydia  Morris;  third,  Esther  Lyman; 
fourth,  Elizabeth  Hoadly ;  the  fifth,  Mary  Lewis  Elliott.  I 
can't  say,  ^  last  of  all  the  man  died  also,"  for  his  last  wife 
sarvived  him.  He  had  twelve  children,  all  but  four  of  whom 
died  in  infancy.    I  was  bom  October  12, 1775. 

I  am  the  son  of  father's  third  and  best-beloved  wife,  Es- 
ther Lyman.  Her  father  was  John  Lyman,  of  Middletown, 
Conn.,  son  of  Ebenezer,  or  Samuel,  who  came  from  Scotland 
to  Boston.  So  you  see  I  have  a  little  Scotch  blood,  as  well 
as  Welsh,  to  mix  with  the  English,  in  my  veins.  This  Scotch 
ancestor  was  a  man  of  large  stature,  strong  mind,  and  excel- 
lent character.  Mother  herself  was  of  a  joyous,  sparkling, 
hopeful  temperament.  Her  mother  was  a  Hawley,  daughter 
of  a  Rev.  Mr.  Stowe,  of  Middletown,  and  an  eminently  god- 
ly woman,  not  belying  her  name,  Grace.  After  her  first  hus- 
band's death  she  married  Priesf**  Fowler,  as  he  was  called, 
of  North  Guilford. 

I  remember  Granny  Fowler  from  earliest  childhood.  She 
used  to  visit  us,  and  as  soon  as  ever  I  saw  her  coming  I 
clicked  it  into  the  liouse,  crying,  ^'  Granny's  coming !  Gran- 
ny's coming  I"  .. 

My  mother  was  tall,  well-proportioned,  dignified  in  her 
movements,  fair  to  look  upon,  intelligent  in  conversation,  and 
in  character  lovely.  I  was  her  only  child.  She  died  of  con- 
sumption two  days  after  I  was  bom.  I  was  a  seven  months' 
child ;  and  when  the  woman  that  attended  on  her  saw  what 
a  puny  thing  I  was,  and  that  the  mother  could  not  live,  she 
thought  it  useless  to  attempt  to  keep  me  alive.  I  was  act- 
ually wrapped  up  and  laid  aside. 

But,  after  a  while,  one  of  the  women  thought  fahe  would 

*  "  PrifiBt"  and  Parson  are  still  sometimes  prefixed  in  this  manner  in 
New  England  conntvy  towns  to  the  names  of  clergymen.  "  Priest"  Fow- 
ler means  the  Ber.  Mr.  Fowler. 

B 


22  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

look  and  see  if  I  was  Kving,  and,  findbg  I  was,  concluded  to 
wash  and  dress  me,  saying,  ^'It's  a  pity  he  hadn't  died  with 
his  mother.''  So  yoa  see  it  was  but  by  a  hair's-breadth  I 
got  a  foothold  in  this  world. 

At  this  time  Aunt  Williston,  of  West  Haven,  and  Aunt 
Benton,  of  North  Guilford,  mother's  sisters,  came  forward ; 
the  former  obtained  a  nurse;  the  latter,  in  three  or  four 
weeks,  took  me  and  the  nurse  home,  and  from  that  time 
performed  the  part  of  a  mother  to  me. 

Note. — ^In  former  editions  Hannah  Beecher's  son  is  named 
John.  His  true  name  was  Isaac,  as  above  given.  It  should 
be  stated,  also,  that  the  land  on  which  the  old  oak  grew  was 
not,  as  above  stated,  the  property  of  Hannah  Beecher.  Her 
house-lot  was  a  little  way  outside  the  main  settlement,  we^ 
of  the  creek,  near  where  the  State  Hospital  now  stands.  The 
comer  lot,  where  Dr.  Beecher  was  bom,  and  where  the  old 
oak  flourished,  was  bought  in  1764  by  David  Beecher,  who 
built  the  house  shown  in  the  vignette.  Doubtless  his  anvil 
stood  on  the  old  oak  stump,  but  not  that  of  Dr.  Beecher's 
grandfather  Nathaniel.  Dr.  Beecher  followed  the  old  fam- 
ily tradition,  which  in  these  particulars  was  inaccurate. 


CHAPTER  in. 

EASLT  DAYS. 


<i^^. 


Ab  the  naree's  milk  did  Dot  agree  with  me,  she  was  dia- 
mijised,  almost  heart-broken  at  having  to  give  me  np,  and  I 
was  given  in  chai^  to  s  girl  named  Annis,  to  be  brought 
np  by  hand. 

Afterward  I  found  the  nnrse  ont,  ancl  visited  her  wheo  I 
was  in  college. 

AnniB  was  a  noble  girl,  and  had  a  great  inflaenoe  over 
my  character.  She  was  abont  thirteen,  intelligent  and  well- 
favored.  She  was  nnrse,  mother,  sister,  and  all.  She  and 
Annt  Benton  fill  np  the  memory  of  my  early  days. 


24  *  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 

She  was  piooB,  and,  though  little* was  said  to  children 
then,  talked  with  me  about  my  souL  I  remember  one  night, 
when  the  northern  lights  were  very  bright,  a  blood-red  arch 
from  horizon  to  zenith,  and  light  enough  to  read  out  of 
doors.  Every  body  was  out  looking  at  it,  and  Uncle  Ste- 
phen Benton  said,  ^*  Ah  I  we  don't  know  at  what  time  the 
day  of  judgment  will  come — at  midnight  or  at  cock-crow- 
ing." 

The  thought  flashed  through  my  mind,  ^^It  has  come 
now,"  and  I  felt  all  the  dismay  of  the  reality.  I  began  to 
cry.  Annis  quieted  me,  and,  after  I  went  to  bed  (I  always 
slept  with  her),  she  talked  with  me  about  my  soul. 

Uncle  Lot  Benton  was  a  substantial  farmer,  an  upright, 
tall,  bright,  dark-eyed  man  of  pleasant  countenance.  Uncle 
Lot  Griswold,  in  the  "  Mayflower,"  is  a  pretty  good  picture 
of  him.  He  had  strong  feelings,  hid  under  a  don't-care  look, 
yet  spilling  over  at  the  corner  of  his  eye. 

If  a  neighbor  came  to  borrow  a  hoe,  Uncle  Lot  would 
say, "Why  don't  ye  have  hoes  o'  your  own?  What  d'ye 
hang  on  to  your  neighbors  for  ?"  Then,  when  the  borrower 
was  going  away, "  Here,  come  back ;  take  the  hoe,  can't  ye  ? 
You'll  break  it,  I  s'pose." 

Uncle  Lot  was  a  saving,  contriving,  scheming  man,  who 
fietrmed  on  the  principle  of  making  his  ground  yield  the  most 
with  the  least  outlay. 

He  made  and  mended  his  own  tools,  harness,  and  plow. 
His  farm  was  on  a  ridge  of  good,  quick,  strong  land,  sloping 
to  the  east  and  west — a  beautiful  situation.  He  had  forty 
head  of  cattle,  two  horses,  and  forty  sheep. 

There  was  rotation  of  crops,  com  following  grass,  and 
oats  com,  and  then  grass  again.  We  made  as  stout  oats  as 
oould  stand. 

Raised  an  acre  or  two  of  flax,  though  it  was  impossible 

Veep  Aunt  Benton  and  niece  in  spinning  for  the  winter. 


SABLT  DATS.  25 

We  raised  our  own  breadstuffi,  and  fodder  for  stock,  and 
cat  salt  hay  on  the  marsh. 

Flax-pnlling  was  hard  enongh  to  break  yonr  back  the  first 
day,  the  second  lighter,  the  third  easy  enough.  We  had 
about  three  days'  palling  for  tJnde  Benton  and  me,  boy  and 
man.  Then  we  rotted  it,  beat  it,  and  bleached  it.  I  knew 
my  business  about  flax. 

In  Mi  and  winter  there  was  wood  to  be  cut  and  hauled 
from  the  wood-lot.  We  kept  no  spirits  in  the  house.  Un- 
cle Lot  always  bought  a  gallon  of  rum,  which  answered  for 
haying  and  harvest.  One  pint  bottle. served  for  seven  or 
eight  hands.  In  June  we  filled  our  gallon  bottle  with  cider 
and  water,  and  went  down  to  Quinnepaug  Outlet  to  wash 
and  shear  the  sheep.  We  built  an  inclosure  of  rails  and 
drove  the  sheep  in.  The  old  ram  we  boys  used  to  drag  in 
and  souse  under.    He  would  come  out  and  stand  dripping. 

Then,  after  a  day  or  two,  we  sheared  them.  The  only 
difficulty  with  me  was,  I  used  to  cut  in  and  take  out  a  little 
piece  of  the  skin  now  and  then. 

Then  the  fleece  was  washed,  salted,  carded,  and  spun. 
Aunt  Benton  spun  it  all  in  the  Jiouse.  Flax  in  winter,  wool 
in  summer ;  woman's  work  is  never  done. 

They  mlule  all  sorts  of  linen  work,  table-cloths,  shirting, 
sheets,  and  cloths.  If  it  hadn't  been  for  this  household  man- 
ufiictory  we  never  should  have  succeeded  in  the  Revolution. 

I  remember  in  those  days  how  the  selectmen  visited  the 
farm-houses,  and  took  an  inventory  and  gave  receipts.  We 
paid  in  beef.  The  kitchen  was  full,  and  they  came  with 
carts  and  carried  it  to  the  army. 

H.  B.  S.  **  Was  there  no  complaining?" 

No  complaint ;  not  a  word. 

H.  B.  S.  *^  We  were  independent  already,  and  only  de- 
termined we  would  remain  so." 


26  AUTOBIOaRlPHT. 

• 

Yes.  If  we  had  been  slaveholders  we  should  have  gone 
to  the  dogs. 

H.  B.  S.  "  Were  there  not  some  that  held  slaves  then?" 

Yes,  a  few.  Darb,  the  fiddler,  was  a  slave ;  belonged  to 
old  Mr.  Ben  Rossiter.  Darb  came  in  one  evening  and  play- 
ed dancing  tunes  after  I  was  abed.  There  were  about  a 
dozen  slaves  in  North  Ouilford,  but  the  slavery  was  very 
lenient.  Old  Priest  Fowler's  Moses  was  quite  the  man  of 
business ;  sent  Johnny  Fowler  to  college,  and  paid  the  bills, 
managed  the  farm,  rung  the  church  bell,  andn^as  factotum. 
He  lived  a  slave  because  he  was  a  king. 

I  remember  near  the  dose  of  the  war,  when  New  Haven 
was  attacked  by  the  British,  Aaron  Burr  happened  to  be 
there,  and  took  command  of  a  party  of  militia.  Father  took 
his  old  firelock  and  went  out  with  them.  But  the  British 
were  too  strong  for  them,  and  the  word  came  each  one  to 
look  out  for  himself.  Father  was  down  in  the  '^  second  quar- 
ter," so  called,  and  happened  to  see  a  scout ;  he  raised  his 
gun,  and  stood  deliberating  whether  he  could  kill  a  fellow- 
being.  The  click  of  a  trigger  near  by  turned  his  head  to- 
ward a  British  marksman,  who  had  no  sueh  scruples,  but  was 
aiming  strdght  at  his  head.  He  popped  down  into  a  ravine, 
losing  his  gun  and  hat,  and  wandered  about  all  that  hot  July 
day  bareheaded,  and  got  a  sunstroke,  from  which  he  never 
wholly  recovered. 

I  remember  that  day  we  were  plowing,  when  we  heard  the 
sound  of  cannon  toward  New  Haven.  "  Whoa  !'*  said  Un- 
cle Benton ;  stopped  team,  off  harness,  mounted  old  Sorrel, 
bareback,  shouldered  the  old  musket,  and  rode  off  to  New 
Haven.  Deacon  Bartlett  went  too ;  and  Sam  Bartlett  said 
he  never  saw  his  fisither  more  keen  after  deer  than  he  was 
to  get  a  shot  at  the  regulars.  He  had  a  large-bored,  long 
old  shot-gun,  that  I  bought  afterward  for  ducks. 


XABLY  DATS.  *  27 

I  remember  the  firing  at  the  close  of  the  war.  They  sent 
us  a  cannon  from  New  Haven,  and  we  fired  it  thirteen  times, 
one  for  every  state.  The  last  time  they  filled  it  full  of  stones, 
and  let  drive  into  the  top  of  a  great  oak-tree. 

Then  came  hard  times,  taxes,  whisky  insurrection,  Shay's 
reb^lion,  and  the  new  Constitution.  Unde  Benton  object- 
ed to  the  eight  dollars  per  day  for  members  of  Congress ; 
but  Qeneral  Collins  smoothed  him  down,  and  he  voted  for 
it.  I  remember  one  day  they  were  discnssing  who  should  be 
president,  a  knot  of  them,  and  I  spoke  up,  ^*  Why,  General 
Washington !''  and  they  looked  at  each  other  and  smiled. 

H.  B.  S.  ''  How  did  they  live  in  those  days  ?  Tell  ns 
something  about  Aunt  Benton's  kitchen." 

I  can  see  her  now  as  plain  as  I  can  see  you.  She  and 
Annis  got  breakfast  very  early.  We  had  wooden  trenchers 
first,  then  pewter,  and  finally  earthenware.  Our  living  was 
very  good.  Rye  bread,  fresh  butter,  buckwheat  cakes,  and 
pie  for  breakfast.  After  the  dishes  were  washed,  Annis  and 
I  helped  aunt  milk.  Then  they  made  cheese  and  spun  till 
dinner.  We  dined  on  salt  pork,  vegetables,  and  pies ;  corned 
beef  also ;  and  always,  on  Sunday,  a  boiled  Indian  pudding. 
We  made  a  stock  of  pies  at  Thanksgiving,  froze  them  for 
winter's  use,  and  they  lasted  till  March. 

After  dinner  annt  put  things  '*to  rights,"  Annis  spun,  and 
I  worked  at  flax  and  foddering. 

In  the  evening  we  visited,  chatted,  ate  apples,  drank  ci- 
der, and  told  stories.  On  Sunday  nights  the  boys  went  a 
courting. 

I  nsed  to  have  the  heartburn  after  eating  puddings  and 
pies,  and  Aunt  Benton  had  a  n5tion  I  was  weakly.  "  Ly- 
man," she  would  say,  ^'  won't  you  go  into  the  milk-room  and 
get  a  piece  of  cake  ?    Ton  don't  look  weU^^ 

H.  B.  S.  "  Well,  father,  you  had  to  work  hard ;  but  what 
did  you  do  for  amusement?" 


28  AUTOBIOGSAPHT. 

Hunting  and  fishing  were  my  amnsements,  except  that  I 
used  to  play  checkers  with  Sam  Bartlett,  and  go  to  singiag- 
sohool  with  Annis,  and  sing  from  Law's  Collection. 

The  first  time  I  went  a  fishing  Uncle  Benton  took  me 
down  to  Beaver  Head,  tied  a  brown  thread  on  a  stick,  put  a 
crooked  pin  on  it  and  a  worm,  and  said,  ^^  There,  Lyman, 
throw  it  in."  I  threw  it  in,  and  out  came  a  shiner  I  The 
first  time  I  caught  a  perch  was  at  Quinnepaug  Outle1)|  He 
got  off  my  hook  and  fell  in  the  shallows,  and  began  to  flap- 
per 0%  and  away  I  went  after  him  down  the  shallows  on  all 
fours,  quicker  than  a  flash. 

Another  time  I  found  a  school*  of  perch  in  a  liole  under 
the  roots  of  a  tree,  and  took  them  all  out  with  my  hand. 

I  always  liked  ^^  training-day,"  because  then  I  could  go  a 
fishing.  Fished  all  day  till  dark,  and  felt  sorry  when  night 
came.  That  was  my  passion.  Couldn't  leave  off  till  the 
bullheads  had  done  biting.  Once,  at  the  saw-mill,  I  hooked 
a  pickerel  without  bait ;  how  I  whopped  him  out ! 

Used  to  follow  the  trout-brook  round  to  the  mill-dam. 
Once,  below  the  dam,  in  a  deep  hole,  I  saw  six  sahnon-trout. 
Dropped  my  hook  with  a  grasshopper ;  none  of  'em  bit. 
Tried  a  worm,  squirmed  lively ;  one  of  'em  struck  it ;  took 
him  out.  Cut  a  stick,  strung  him ;  baited  my  hook,  threw 
in;  another  of 'em  struck  it;  pulled  him  out,  strung  him; 
another,  and  another,  till  I  had  the  whole  six. 

H.  B.  S.  «  Did  you  hunt  any  ?" 

Tes,  down  between  home  and  the  western  road — squir- 
rels, quail,  partridges,  and  what  not.  Used  to  catch  musk- 
rats  and  minks ;  deer  were  scarce.  The  wolves  used  to  howl 
in  the  woods;  never  heard  them  but  once  since,  and  that 
was  in  the  black  swamp  in  Indiana. 

H.  B.  S.  "  Did  you  care  any  thing  about  flowers  then  ?" 

*  *'  School"  is  still  the  New  England  prorincialism  for  '^alioal." 


XABLT  DATS.  29 

WeD,  Aunt  Benton  had  a  beautifhl  garden  in  front  of 
the  honse.  All  the  common  sorts  of  flowers  grew  there 
— peonies,  pinks,  featherfew,  balsams,  roses,  and  (he  like. 
There  was  the  first  place  I  ever  saw  Esther.  She  came  over 
from  New  Haven  on  a  vimt.  She  was  bright  and  nimble, 
and  went  skipping  «boat  the  garden  like  a  little  bntterSj. 

£L  B.  S.  <'  Was  that  a  healthy  country  ?" 

Healthy?  In  eighteen  years  of  early  life  I  never  went 
to  the  funeral  of  a  yoong  person  of  our  oiides.  Never 
knew  but  one  case  of  fever  and  ague.  The  ground  sloped 
away  to  the  marsh  so  far  that  there  was  no  miasm.  The 
drainage  was  swift,  and  the  trout-brook  did  not  dry  up  the 
year  round.  Every  storm  threw  floods  down  the  motmtain- 
side  and  swept  every  thing  dean.  Sometimes  a  cloud  broke 
on  the  motmtains,  filled  the  channel,  carried  away  bridges, 
and  went  past  like  a  great  wave  of  the  se& 

When  I  used  to  be  out  hoeing  com,  and  saw  two  thun- 
der-douds  rising,  my  nerves  braced  up,  aod,  as  it  grew  dark- 
er, the  excitement  increased,  till,  finally,  when  the  thunder 
burst,  it  was  like  the  efiect  of  a  strong  glass  of  wine. 

H.  B.  S.  «  Were  you  afi^d  ?" 

'Not  L.  I  wished  it  would  thunder  all  day.  I  never 
heard  such  thunder  since,  except  once  in  the  hills  round 
Marietta,  Ohio. 

H.  B.  S.  "  And  were  you  never  sick  ?" 

I  had  the  mumps,  measles,  hooping-cough,  and  all  that 
sort  of  thing.  One  or  two  narrow  escapes  too :  I  stumbled 
over  the  dye-pot,  and  sat  down  in  a  kettle  of  scalding  water. 
That  threw  me  into  convulsions.  Came  near  being  crush- 
ed by  a  falling  tree ;  should  have  been  if  it  had  not  lodged: 
that  saved  me. 

H.  B.  S.  **  Well,  &tber,  how  did  it  happen  that  yon  did 

not  become  a  farmer  ?'' 

B2 


30  AUTOBIOGBAFHY. 

I  should,  if  Uncle  Beiliton  had  not  cleared  a  fifteen-acre 
lot,  and  I  driven  plow  over  the  whole  three  times.  He  al- 
ways meant  I  shoold  be  his  heir,  and  have  the  homestead, 
and  be  a  farmer  as  he  was.  I  wish  yon  coold  see  his  old 
plow.  It  was  a  ourions  thing  of  his  own  making — clumsy, 
heavy,  and  patched  with  old  hoes  and  pieces  of  iron  to  keep 
it  from  wearing  out.  That  plow  is  the  most  horrible  me- 
morial of  that  time. 

If  that  plow  could  tell  the  st6ry  of  my  feelings  it  would  be 
a  development.  Uncle  Lot,  however,  thought  a  great  deal 
of  it.  One  day  I  drove  the  ox-team  so  as  to  graze  it  with 
the  wheel. 

"  There,  there,  Lyman,  youVe  run  over  that  plow  and 
broke  it  all  to  pieces." 

"Why, Uncle  Lot, I  haven't  touched  the  plow." 

"  Well,  Fd  a  great  deal  rather  you  had  than  to  have  gone 
so  plaguy  nigh  it." 

Now  I  am  naturally  quick,  and  that  old  plow  was  so 
slow — one  furrow  a  little  way,  and  then  another — and  the 
whole  fifteen  acres  three  times  over,  some  of  it  steep  as  the 
roof  of  a  house.  I  became  inexpressibly  sick  of  it.  What 
should  I  do,  then,  but  build  castles  in  the  air.  First  Tknew 
I  would  be  a  rod  ahead,  and  the  plow  out,  and  Unde  Lot 
would  say  "Whoa,"  and  come  and  give  me  a  shake. 

Not  long  after  the  job  was  finished  Uncle  Benton  and  I 
were  walking  together  over  to  Toket  Hill,  and  I  had  got  so 
used  to  driving  that  I  fell  into  a  brown  study,  and  kept  say- 
ing "Whoa!"  "Haw!"  "Gee!"  as  if  the  oxen  were  along. 

"  Why,  Lyman,"  said  Uncle  Lot, "  did  you  think  you  were 
driving  the  oxen?"  It  was  then,  I  believe,  he  gave  up.    Next 
day  we  were  out  behind  the  bam  picking  up  apples. 
^'  Lyman,"  said  he, "  should  you  like  to  go  to  college  ?" 

"I  don't  know,  sir,"  said  I.    But  the  next  day  we  were 


BABLY  DATS.  31 

oat  picking  apples  agaiD,  and,  without  his  saying  a  word,  I 
said,  ^^  Yes,  sir,  I  should."  So  he  drove  over  to  New  Haven, 
and  talked  with  father,  and  they  settled  it  between  them. 
Uncle  Lot  was  to  clothe  me — Aunt  Benton  could  make 
nearly  every  thing — and  father  was  to  do  the  rest. 

TJnde  took  his  nephew.  Lot  Benton,  for  his  heir,  and  gave 
him  the  homestead,  and  moved  to  Old  Guilford.  When  he 
died  he  left  me  his  Quilford  house,  and  land  worth  about 
$2000  besides. 


82  AUTOBXOaSAPHY. 


CHAPTER  IV, 

EABLT  BDUCATIOK. 

I  WENT  to  school  first  in  North  Guilford,  in  a  great  bam 
of  a  sohool-honse,  with  desks  around,  and  a  long  desk  through 
the  centre.  The  best  writer  sat  at  the  end  next  the  fire.  The 
fireplace  took  in  wood  cart  length,  and  it  was  hot  enough 
at  that  end  to  roast  an  ox,  and  that  was  all  the  heat  there 
was.  I  was  about  the  fourth  or  fifth  from  the  fire,  and  the 
ink  always  froze  in  my  pen.  So  it  utts,  *'  Master,  may  I  go 
to  the  fire  ?"  all  day  long. 

They  had  a  parish  meeting  once  to  see  about  moving  the 
old  thing,  but  quarreled  and  broke  up  in  a  row.  It  never 
would  have  been  set  straight  if  it  hadn't  been  for  our  old 
neighbor,  Tim  Baldwin. 

H.  B.  S.  «  Why,  what  did  he  do  ?" 

Well,  Fll  tell  you.  Next  morning  he  said  he  wasn't  go- 
ing to  have  any  quarreling  about  that  school-house;  so  he 
yoked  his  oxen,  and  Tim  Rossiter's,  and  went  down,  hitched 
on — ^"  Whoa,  haw,  Bright — gee  up !"  and  dragged  the  school- 
house  along  where  he  wanted  it.  Then  he  unhitched  and 
left  it  there,  and  there  it  stood.  And,  when  people  found 
it  was  done,  they  stopped  quarreling. 

Bishop  was  our  first  teacher — a  poor  creature  who  didn't 
know  what  else  to  do,  so  he  kept  school.  I  worked  all  sum- 
mer, and  went  to  school  in  winter,  and  learned  my  letters 
out  of  Dil worth. 

Dan  Bartlett  came  next,  and  taught  me  Daboll's  Arith- 
metic. Jones  was  next — ^pretty  good  in  common  things.  I 
came  late  that  quarter,  and  stood  at  the  foot  in  reading. 


After  we  had  done  reading,  he  said  to  me,  *^  Come  up  here 
next  the  head«" 

Afterward,  I  remember,  we  chose  sides ;  two  pretty  girls 
drew  lots  ^or  first  pick.  Aft;er  we  had  done,  '^  Very  well," 
said  he.  *'  Lyman  Beecher  is  the  best  reader  in  school."  Oh, 
how  proud  I  felt ! 

Then  came  Augostns  Baldwin.  He  really  took  hold  and 
gave  US  a  start.  We  thought  him  the  most  wonderful  man 
in  the  world.  He  was  "  coUege-learned,"  and  a  little  vain. 
After  lecturing  us  on  manners,  he  would  wind  up  by  saying, 
^ Be  as  I  ami"  and  strutted  about.  "We  swallowed  it  all, 
admiring.  I  went  in  arithmetic  through  the  Rule  of  Three ; 
but  nobody  ever  explained  any  thing.  We  only  did  sums. 
The  only  books  we  had  at  Uncle  Benton's  were  the  great 
Bible  and  Psalm-book.  Father  came  over  once  and  made 
me  a  present  of  Robinson  Crusoe  an^  Ooody  Two-shoes. 
They  thought  me  a  genius  because  I  took  Robinson  Crusoe 
out  to  the  bam  to  read  and  beat  flax.  But  I  was  not  much 
of  a  reader. 

C.  B.  ^  Well,  father,  what  sort  of  religious  training  did 
you  have?" 

We  always  had  femiily  prayers,  and  I  heard  the  Bible 
read  every  morning.  Aunt  Benton  became  pious  when  I 
was  about  ten.  I  remember  Parson  Bray's  coming  to  see 
her,  and  talking  about  ''  inability."  I  never  heard  Parson 
Bray  preach  a  sermon  I  understood. 

They  say  every  body  knows  about  God  naturally.  A  lie. 
All  such  ideas  are  by  teaching.  One  Sunday  evening  I  was 
out  playing.  They  kept  Saturday  evening,  and  children 
might  play  on  Sunday  evening  as  soon  as  they  could  see 
three  stars.  But  I  was  so  impatient  I  did  not  wait  for  that. 
Bill  H.  saw  me,  and  said, 
*  **  That's  wicked ;  there  ain't  three  stars." 


34  AUTOBIOaBAPHY. 

"  Don't  care." 

"  God  says  you  mustn't." 

«  Don't  care." 

"  He'll  punish  you." 

"  Well,  if  he  does,  Til  tell  Aunt  Benton." 

^^  Well,  he's  bigger  than  Aunt  Benton,  and  hell  put  you 
in  the  fire  and  bum  yon  forever  and  ever." 

That  took  hold.  I  understood  what  fire  was,  and  what 
forever  was.  What  emotion  I  had  thinking.  No  end !  no 
end  I    It  has  been  a  sort  of  mainspring  ever  since. 

I  had  a  good  orthodox  education ;  was  serious-minded, 
conscientious,  and  had  a  settled  fear  of  God  and  terror  of 
the  day  of  judgment.  Conscience,  however,  only  troubled 
me  about  particular  sins.  I  knew  nothing  about  my  heart. 
For  instance :  I  got  to  pulling  hair  with  Alex.  Collins  one 
training-day,  and  Granny  Rossiter  told  Aunt  Benton, "  Fm 
afeard  Lyman's  been  a  fighting."  I  felt  so  ashamed,  as  if  I 
had  lost  my  character.  It  laid  heavy  on  my  heart  long  aft- 
er. Again :  one  Sunday,  Spring  (my  first  dog)  and  I  staid 
at  home  in  the  forenoon.  Spring  and  Spot  (Uncle  Tim's 
dog)  would  visit  on  Sundays,  and  off  they  went  to  the  woods 
to  hunt  squirrels.  This  time  they  found  a  rabbit.  I  had 
great  workings.  I  knew  it  would  be  wrong.  But  nobody 
was  there.  After  holding  back  as  long  as  I  could,  I  let  go, 
and  went  down  to  the  branch.*  The  rabbit  had  run  to  his 
burrow,  and  the  dogs  could  not  reach  him.  I  staid  a  while, 
but  conscience  tormented  me  so  that  I  went  back.  Then  I 
had  nothing  to  do ;  so  I  took  the  big  Bible,  and  read  Susan- 
na, Bel  and  the  Dragon,  and  the  Revelations  till  I  was  tired. 
Then  I  fell  to  whittling,  and  made  elder  pin-boxes.  But, 
when  they  were  made,  I  was  so  conscience-smitten  that  I 
gathered  them  up  and  threw  them  into  the  fire. 

*  A  little  brook. 


SABLT  EDUCATION.  35 

CuriouB,  now,  thifl  thing  of  personal  identity !  Here  I 
am  now,  an  old  man,  telling  yon  this  story  abont  a  little 
boy ;  and  yet  I  feel  that  I  am  the  same  person  now  that 
I  was  then. 


30  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 


CHAPTER  V. 

FTTTINa  FOB  COLLBOS. 

At  sixteen  I  went  to  school  in  New  Haven,  tanght  by 
Colonel  Mansfield,  father  of  Mansfield  of  Cincinnati.  Harry 
Baldwin,  my  college  chum,  was  there  too.  I  began  to  study 
my  Accidence  there,  but  did  not  stay  long.  My  mother's 
sister.  Aunt  Williston,  of  West  Haven,  took  me  to  board,  in 
exchange  for  their  son  at  college,  who  boarded  with  father. 

Uncle  Williston  was  a  very  pious  man ;  but,  like  most 
ministers  of  that  day,  fond  of  his  pipe.  He  used  a  ton  or 
more  of  tobacco  in  his  lifetime.  Had  a  little  shelf  by  the 
side  of  his  writing-table — a  piece  of  plank— on  which  he  cut 
tobacco ;  it  was  nearly  cut  through.  Never  saw  him  with- 
out a-  pipe  in  his  mouth.  Aunt  Williston  was  kind,  and 
kept  good  watch  over  us  young  folks.  Her  niece,  Lucy, 
about  my  age,  was  a  pretty  girl,  and  I  liked  to  sit  up  nights 
cosily  chatting  with  her.  But  no ;  Aunt  Williston  came  in 
and  ordered  me  off  to  bed. 

H.  B.  S.  "  Was  she  veiy  pretty  ?" 

Why —  (hesitation).  She  was  really  a  sensible  girl,  of 
fair  form  and  presence,  which,  I  dare  say,  would  have  waxed 
into  beauty. 

H.  B.  S.  "  Was  Uncle  Williston  a  good  preacher?" 

Well,  he  always  read  his  morning  sermon  to  us  Saturday 
evening,  and  the  other  at  noon,  and  catechised  us  on  them 
in  the  evening.  Lucy  and  I  were  bored  alike.  He  was  not 
weak— every  body  loved  him — ^but  he  was  not  keen.  I  re- 
member one  sermon  on  ^^  My  son,  eat  thou  honey,  because  it 
is  good."    He  repeated  it  over  and  ovef,  and  turned  it  this 


FrmNa  fob  goiIsok.  3? 

way  and  that,  and  scratched  it  as  a  hen  does  an  ear  of  com, 
and  wonnd  up— *^  And  what  other  reason  shall  I  give  why 
yirtne  should  be  chosen?  My  son,  eat  thoa  honey, for  it  is 
good.'* 

I  Btndied  Latin  grammar.  The  grammar  was  written 
in  Latin.  I  stndied,  parsed,  recited  every  thing  in  Latin. 
A  deadly  trial ;  bat  the  best  fortune  I  ever  had.  Really,  a 
thorough-going  thing.  I  got  it  by  heart,  every  word  of  it. 
In  that  thing  none  of  my  class  surpassed  me. 

I  staid  all  winter  at  Uncle  Williston's,  and  then  went  to 
Parson  Bray's,  at  North  Guilford,  who  fitted  boys  for  col- 
lege. He  gave  us  sums  to  do  in  arithmetic,  but  never  ez« 
plained.  I  suffered  in  that  department  through  his  neglect. 
He  was  a  farmer ;  had  two  slaves  to  till  his  farm,  and  abund- 
ance of  cattle  and  hogs.  He  preached  twice  on  the  Sab- 
bath, and  attended  funerals,  and  that  was  all  except  the 
quarterly  sacramental  lecture.  That  was  the  average  of 
ministerial  work  in  those  dajrs. 

H.  B.  S.  ^*  That  is  one  reason  why  they  lived  longer,  and 
staid  longer  in  the  same  place." 

True.  Nowadays  they  wear  a  man  out  in  a  few  years. 
They  make  him  a  slave,  worse  than  on  the  plantation.  The 
old  way  was  healthier. 

I  remember  the  Association  met  there,  and  dined  at  TJn- 
de  Benton's.  As  soon  as  Aunt  Benton  saw  them  coming, 
she  threw  the  irons  in  the  fire,  and  ran  down  cellar  to  draw 
a  pail  of  beer.  Then  the  hot  irons  were  thrust  in  hissing 
and  foaming,  it  was  sweetened,  and  the  flip  was  ready.  Then 
came  pipes,  and  in  less  than  fifteen  minutes  you  could  not 
see  across  the  room. 

Parson  Bray  took  a  newspaper,  the  fiarst  one  I  ever  read. 
Those  were  French  Revolutionary  days,  and  the  paper  was 
full  of  battles  between  the  French  and  Austrians.  I  have  n 
the  papers  regularly  ever  since,  and  kept  up  with  the  t' 


AUTOBIOSRAPHT. 


CHAPTER  VL 

TALB. 


Apfeb  Bpeodiag  abont  tiro  years  id  fitting  for  oollege,  I 
vent  home  to  father's  in  New  Haven,  and  spent  s  month 
before  Commencement.  I  was  eighteen.  Farmer's  life  aud 
farmer's  &re  had  made  me  strong  and  hearty  beyond  any 
thing  I  shonld  have  reached  if  I  had  grown  np  in  father's 
fiunily,thongh  that  was  far  more  intellectual.  I  built  up  the 
physical  first,  the  intellectual  afterward. 

Father  yna  now  living  with  his  fifth  wife,  and  Esther,  her 
daughter,  was  aboat  thirteen,  and  forever  reading.    Then 


TALB.  89 

there  were  Polly,  Lydia,  and  David,  so  that  there  was  a  pret- 
ty good  family  of  us.  Besides,  there  were  several  hoarders, 
and,^  at  Commencement,  the  house  was  always  filled  to  over- 
flowing with  company. 

That  was  the  first  house  that  President  Day  ever  stopped 
at  in  New  Haven.  His  father  used  to  put  up  there  at  Com- 
mencement. 

We  young  folks  thought  it  a  fine  thing  to  sleep  on  the 
straw  in  the  ham,  and  high  times  we  had  up  in  the  old  hay- 
loft. 

Yale  College  then  was  very  different  from  what  it  is  now. 

The  main  building  then  was  Connecticut  Hall,  three  sto- 
ries high,  now  South  Middle  College. 

What  is  now  the  Athenseum  was  then  the  chapel,  with  a 
tali  spire,  and  the  present  Laboratory  was  then  the  dining- 
haU. 

The  present  South  College,  then  ITnion  Hall,  was  com- 
menced the  year  I  entered,  1793,  and  finished  the  next. 

The  stairs  in  the  main  building  were  worn  nearly  through, 
the  rooms  defaced  and  dirty. 

As  to  apparatus,  we  had  a  great  orrery,  almost  as  big  as 
the  wheel  of  an  ocean  steamer,  made  in  college  by  Joseph 
Badger,  afterward  missionary  to  the  Sandwich  Islands.  It 
was  made  to  revolve,  but  was  all  rusty ;  nobody  ever  start- 
ed it. 

There  was  a  four-foot  telescope,  all  rusty ;  nobody  ever 
looked  through  it,  and,  if  they  did,  not  to  edification.  There 
was  an  air-pump,  so  out  of  order  that  a  mouse  under  the  re- 
ceiver would  live  as  long  as  Methusaleh. 

There  was  a  prism,  and  an  elastic  hoop  to  illustrate  cen- 
trifugal force. 

We  were  taken  up  to  see  those  dingy,  dirty  things,  and 
that  was  all  the  apparatus  the  college  had. 


40  AUTOBIOQBAPHT. 

James  Gould  was  our  first  tutor,  and  then  Roger  Minot 
Sherman,  a  great  man,  one  of  the  first  at  the  bar  afterward. 
He  loved  us,  and  we  him.  He  was  our  tutor  till  the  spring 
of  our  Junior  year.  After  Gould  left  us,  the  president  heard 
us  recite  for  a  season,  till  Sherman  took  us. 

P^sident  Stiles  was  well  made,  trim,  of  medium  height, 
of  strong  prejudices,  not  profound,  but  very  learned.  One 
of  the  politest,  most  urbane  gentlemen  I  ever  knew — ^that  is, 
out  of  coUege ;  for,  as  a  man,  he  was  one  things  but  as  presi- 
dent quite  another.  I  remember  that,  in  my  first  vacation, 
Ben  Baldwin  got  me  to  keep  school  for  him  while  he  went 
a  journey.  This  kept  me  out  three  weeks  of  the  next  term. 
When  I  went  up  to  President  Stiles's  study  to  get  excused, 
I  told  him  the  whole  story.  ^^Nbtetur^^  said  he  (you  must 
be  fined)  \  and  that  was  all  he  said.  In  those  days  the  stu- 
dents were  fined  for  any  misdemeanors. 

One  of  our  class  once  snapped  a  copper  on  the  floor  at 
recitation.  The  old  gentleman  paused;  looked  up  severe 
and  stern,  and,  when  all  was  hnqhed,  went  on  again. " 
"  One  evening  he  brought  a  foreign  ambassador  or  other 
dignitary  with  him  to  prayers,  but,  being  rather  late,  the 
students  were  in  a  row,  stamping,  etc.,  all  over  the  chapel. 
This  mortified  him  exceedingly.  He  reached  the  stage; 
tried  to  speak  to  quell  the  tumult ;  couldn't  be  heard ;  then 
up  with  his  cane  and  struck  on  the  stage,  shivering  it  to 
splinters,  and  broke  out  in  a  rage.  He  was  of  the  old  re- 
gime— ^the  last  of  that  age — had  it  in  his  heart  and  in  his  soul. 
He  liked  the  old  college  laws  derived  from  the  English  uni- 
versities ;  and  when  the  Freshmen  complained  of  the  oppres- 
sion of  the  Sophomores,  he  sent  them  back.  Those  laws  were 
intensely  aristocratic,  and  it  was  in  my  day  that  the  reaction 
came,  and  the  modem  democratic  customs  were  introduced. 

I  had  some  hand  in  that  myself.    The  first  part  of  the 


41 

year  I  lived  in  George  Street,  and  escaped  the  tyranny  of 
the  Sophomores ;  but,  on  taking  a  room  in  college  (it  was 
the  northwest  comer,  lower  story),  I  soon  experienced  its 
effects.  I  was  sent  for  to  a  room  so  fall  of  tobacco-smoke 
you  conld  not  see  across  it.  There  I  was  asked  all  manner 
of  questions,  in  English  and  Latin,  and  received  all  manner 
of  solemn  advice.  Then  Forbes,  a  big  fellow,  took  me  as# 
his  &g,  and  sent  me  of  errands.  Every  day  he  contrived  to 
send  me  on  some  business  or  other,  worrying  me  down  to 
indignation. 

One  moonlight  evening,  as  a  few  of  our  class  were  stand- 
ing together  as  the  nine  o'clock  bell  rang,  som^ne  said, 

^*  Come,  let's  go  down  and  break  Forbes's  windows." 

"No,  no,"  said  I,  **  the  streets  are  full  of  people." 

"  Coward  1" 

"  You've  missed  your  man  this  time.  Fm  not  a  coward, 
but  Fm  not  a  fool.  If  any  man  will  go  at  twelve  o'clock 
to-night,  I  wiD." 

"FU  go!"  said  Parker.  And  so,  when  twelve  o'clock 
came,  we  went  down,  each*  armed  with  a  couple  of  bricks. 
We  marched  past,  and  let  drive  one  after  another.  One 
struck  the  wall  just  above  his  head. 

Next  day  fether  said  to  me, "Lyman,  Mr. Hubbard  has 
been  talking  with  me ;  he  thinks  it  likely  you  were  concern- 
ed in  breaking  Forbes's  windows." 

"  Well,"  said  I, "  he  can't  prove  it,  and  you  can't  prove  it ; 
and  Ood  only  can  publish  it  if  it's  true." 

"Well,  well,"  said  he,  "Fll  teU  you  what  you  had  better 
do.  Just  stop  your  class,  and  contribute  enough  to  mend 
the  windows,  and  say  nothing." 

So  said,  so  done.  The  windows  were  mended,  and  the 
thing  passed  over;  but  they  never  sent  me  errands  any 
more  after  tiiat. 

The  old  system  was  abolished  soon  after. 


42  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 


CHAPTER  VIL 
TALE,  Continued. 

In  mj  first  year  I  narrowly  escaped  drowning.  Long  Isl- 
and Sound  was  frozen  over,  so  that  at  Five-mile  Point  no 
water  was  visible.  I  rose  early  to  go  on  a  visit  to  Grand- 
father Morris's  (father's  second  wife  was  a  Morris).  I  skated 
down  the  harbor,  and  was  just  passing  Five-mile  Point  as 
the  sun  arose.  The  sun  shone  in  my  face  so  that  I  did  not 
notice  a  change  in  the  color  of  the  ice  till  it  gave  way.  *^  Fm 
in,"  was  my  first  thought.  The  water  was  bitter  cold,  and  I 
had  on  my  great-coat.  Felt  no  panic,  but  came  to  the  edge 
and  tried  to  spring  out ;  but  the  moment  I  bore  my  weight 
on  it  it  failed ;  I  tried  a  secdnd  time — ^it  broke  again.  Then 
for  a  moment  I  looked  into  eternity.  There  was  an  instant 
of  despair,  but  the  fiash  of  hope  followed,  and  I  tried  it  the 
third  time.  My  breast  rested  on  the  solid  ice ;  I  put  out 
my  strength,  scratched  with  my  nmls,  and  kicked — gaining, 
gaining,  gaining — till  I  felt  the  balance  on.  Then  I  put  up 
my  hands  to  heaven  and  gave  thanks,  took  to  my  skates  and 
went.  And  so,  having  obtained  help  of  Ood,  I  continue  to 
this  day. 

This  year  also  I  had  the  scarlet  fever,  and  came  as  near 
to  death  as  on  the  day  of  my  birth. 

Then  came  the  spring  vacation,  and  I  went  home  to  North 
Guilford  to  recruit  by  making  maple-sugar.  We  had  about 
a  hundroid  trees.  Oh,  I  wish  you  could  see  them  now,  with 
their  great  spreading  roots  I  I  used  to  delight  in  that  work, 
tapping  the  trees,  boiling  down  the  sap,  and  carrying  it  home. 


^3 

In  my  Sophomore  year  (September,  1794-'5)  I  did  com- 
paratively  little.  My  early  iDstraotors  had  never  ezphuned 
the  principleB  of  arithmetic,  so  that  for  this  part  of  the 
coarse  I  had  small  qualification.    Mathematics  I  lost  totally. 

In  May  of  this  year  Dr.  Stiles  died,  and  Dr.  D wiglit  be- 
came president  at  the  next  Commencement.  He  had  the 
greatest  agency  in  developing  my  mind. 

Before  he  came  college  was  in  a  most  ungodly  state. 
The  college  church  was  almost  extii^ct.  Most  of  the  stu* 
dents  were  skeptical,  and  rowdies  were  plenty.  Wine  and 
liquors  were  kept  in  many  rooms ;  intemperance,  profanity, 
gambling,  and  licentiousness  were  common.  I  hardly  know 
bow  I  escaped.  Was  invited  to  play,  once,  in  a  classmate's 
room.  I  did  so,  and  won.  Next  day  I  won  again,  then  lost, 
and  ended  in  debt.  I  saw  immediately  whereunto  that 
would  grow ;  obtained  leave  of  absence,  went  home  for  a 
week,  till  cured  of  that  mania,  and  never  touched  a  card 
afterward. 

That  was  the  day  of  the  infidelity  of  the  Tom  Paine 
school.  Boys  that  dressed  flax  in  the  bam,  as  I  used  to, 
read  Tom  Paine  and  believed  him ;  I  read,  and  fought  him 
all  the  way.  Never  had  any  propensity  to  infidelity.  But 
most  of  the  dass  before  me  were  infidels,  and  called  each 
other  Voltaire,  Rousseau,  D'Alembert,  etc.,  etc. 

They  thought  the  Faculty  were  afraid  of  free  discussion. 
But  when  they  handed  Dr.  D  wight  a  list  of  subjects  for  dass 
disputation,  to  their  surprise  he  selected  this :  ^'  Is  the  Bible 
the  word  of  Ood?^'  and  told  them  to  do  their  best. 

He  heard  all  they  had  to  say,  answered  them,  and  there 
was  an  end.  He  preached  incessantly  for  six  months  on 
the  subject,  and  all  infidelity  skulked  and  hid  its  head. 

He  elaborated  his  theological  system  in  a  series  of  fore- 
noon sermons  in  the  chapel ;  the  afternoon  discourses  were 


44  AUTOBIOGIIAPHT. 

pniotioal.  The  original  design  of  Yale  College  was  to  found 
a  divinity  schooL  To  a  mind  appreciative  like  mine,  his 
preaohing  was  a  continual  course  of  education  and  a  con- 
tinual feast.  He  was  copious  and  polished  in  style,  though 
disciplined  and  logical. 

There  was  a  pith  and  power  of  doctrine  there  that  has 
not  been  since  surpassed,  if  equaled.  I  took  notes  of  all  his 
discourses,  condensing  and  forming  skeletons.  He  was  of 
noble  form,  with  a  noble  head  and  body,  and  had  one  of  the 
sweetest  smiles  that  ever  you  saw.  He  always  met  me  with 
a  smile.  Oh,  how  I  loved  him !  I  loved  him  as  my  own 
soul,  and  he  loved  me  as  a  son.  And  once  at  Litchfield  I 
told  him  that  all  I  had  I  owed  to  him.  ''  Then,"  said  he, ''  I 
have  done  a  great  and  soul-satisfying  work.  I  consider  my- 
self amply  rewarded." 

He  was  universally  revered  and  loved.  I  never  kiiew  but 
one  student  undertake  to  frustrate  his  wishes. 


BSLI6IOU8  AWAKSKIKG.  46 


> 


CHAPTER  Vm. 

RBUGIOUS  AWAKENING. 

It  waa  not,  however,  before  the  middle  of  my  Junior  year 
that  I  was  really  .awakened.  It  is  curious,  bat  when  I  en- 
tered college  I  had  a  sOrt  of  purpose  to  be  a  preacher.  I 
was  naturally  fitted  to  be  a  lawyer.  But,  though  I  had 
heard  the  first  at  the  bar — Pierpont  Edwards  and  David 
Daggett — ^the  little  quirks,  and  turns,  and  janglings  disgust- 
ed me.  My  purpose  was  as  fully  made  up — "  I'll  preach" 
— ^as  afterward.  Yet  I  had  only  a  traditionary  knowledge ; 
alive  without  the  law ;  sense  of  sin  all  outward ;  ignorant  as 
a  beast  of  the  state  of  my  heart,  and  its  voluntary  spiritual 
state  toward  God. 

One  day,  as  we  were  sitting  at  home,  mother  looked  out 
of  the  window,  and  saw  a  drunkard  passing.  *'  Poor  man," 
said  she,  *'  I  hope  he'll  receive  all  his  punishment  in  this  life. 
He  was  under  conviction  once,  and  thought  he  had  religion ; 
but  he's  nothing  but  a  poor  drunkard  now." 

There  was  no  perceptible  effect  from  these  words,  only, 

after  she  left  the  room,  I  felt  a  sudden  impulse jbo  pray.    It 

was  but  a  breath  across  the  surfaee  of  my  soul.    I  was  not 

in  the  habit  of  prayer.    I  rose  to  pray,  and  had  not  spoken 

five  words  before  I  was  mider  aa  deep  conviction  as  ever  I 

was  in  my  life.    The  sinking  of  the  shaft  was  instantaneous. 

I  understood  the  law  and  my  heart  as  well  as  I  do  now,  or 

shall  in  the  day  of  judgment,  I  believe.    The  commandment 

oame,  sin  revived,  and  I  died,  quick  as  a  flash  of  lightning. 

*'  Well,"  I  thought, ''  it's  all  over  with  me.    Pm  gone. 

C 


46  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 

There's  no  hope  for  such  a  sinner."  Despair  followed  the 
inward  revelation  of  what  I  had  read^  but  never  felt.  I  had 
never  had  any  feeling  of  love  to  God,  and  all  my  affections 
were  selfish  and  worldly. 

After  a  while  that  entireness  of  despair  (for  I  was  sure  I 
was  lost,  as  I  deserved)  lessened  so  that  I  could  pray  with- 
out weeping ;  and  then  I  began  to  hope  I  was  growing  good. 
Then  my  motives  in  praying  came  up  before  me,  and  I  saw 
there  was  no  true  love  in  them.  I  then  tried  reformation, 
but  seemed  no  better.  God  let  down  light  into  the  dark 
places,  and  showed  me  there  was  no  change  of  character. 
I  turned  away  from  this  seff-righteousness,  and  turned  in, 
and  laid  hold  of  my  heart  like  a  giant  to  bring  it  round  so 
as  to  pray  aright,  but  could  not.  Couldn't  make  a  right 
prayer  with  a  wrong  heart.  Worked  away  at  that  till  I 
gave  up.  Then  Election  tormented  me.  I  fell  into  a  dark, 
sullen,  unfeeling  state  that  finally  affected  my  health. 

I  can  see  now  that  if  I  had  had  the  instruction  I  give  to 
inquirers,  I  should  have  come  out  bright  in  a  few  days. 
Mine  was  what  I  should  now  call  a  hopeful,  promising  case. 
Old  Dr.  Hopkins  had  just  such  an  awakening,  and  was  tor- 
mented a  great  while.  The  fact  is,  the  law  and  doctrines, 
without  any  explanation,  is  a  cruel  way  to  get  souls  into  the 
kingdom.  It  entails  great  suffering,  especially  on  thinldng 
minds. 

During  all  this  struggle  I  had  no  guidance  but  the  ser- 
910ns  of  Dr.  D  wight.  When  I  heard  him  preach  on  *'The 
harvest  is  past,  the  summer  is  ended,  and  we  are  not  saved," 
a  whole  avalanche  rolled  down  on  my  mind.  I  went  home 
weeping  every  step.  One  reason  I  was  so  long  in  the  dark 
was,  I  was  under  latOy  was  stumbling  in  the  doctrines,  and 
had  no  views  of  Christ.  They  gave  me  other  books  to 
read  besides  the  Bible — ^a  thing  I  have  done  practising  long 


BIEUGIOUS  AWAK3SNING.  47 

since.  For  cases  like  mine,  Brainerd's  Life  is  a  most  mide- 
sirable  thing.  It  gave  me  a  tinge  for  years.  So  Edwards 
on  the  Affections — a  most  overwhehning  thing,  and  to  com- 
mon minds  the  most  entangling.  The  impressions  left  by 
snch  books  were  not  spiritual,  but  a  state  of  permanent 
hypochondria — the  horrors  of  a  mind  without  gtiidance, 
motive,  or  ability  to  do  any  thing.  They  are  a  bad  genera- 
tion of  books,  on  the  whole.  Divine  sovereignty  does  the 
whole  in  spite  of  them.  I  was  converted  in  spite  of  such 
books. 

I  wish  I  could  ^ve  you  my  clinical  theology.  I  have 
used  my  evangelical  philosophy  all  my  lifetime,  and  relieved 
people  without  number  out  of  the  sloughs  of  high  Calvin- 
ism. 

It  was  many  months  that  I  suffered ;  and,  finally,  the  light 
did  not  come  in  a  sudden  blaze,  but  by  degrees.  I.  began 
to  see  more  into  the  doctrines  of  the  Bible.  Election  and 
decrees  were  less  a  stumbling-block.  I  came  in  by  that 
door.  I  felt  reconciled  and  fesigned,  yet  with  alternations 
of  darkness  and  discouragement,  and  a  severe  conflict  wheth- 
er it  would  be  right  for  me  to  preach,  which  extended  even 
into  my  Divinity  year. 


48  AtnOKOGSAFHT. 


CHAPTER  IX. 

SENIOR  YSJlB. 

iNTELLBcnTALLY,  the  Senior  year  was  the  best  to  me.  We 
all  looked  forward  to  Dr.Dwight's  instractions  with  inter- 
est. We  began  with  Blair's  Rhetoric,  half  an  hoar's  recita- 
tion, and  an  hour  or  hour  and  a  half  of  extempore  lective. 
He  was  fall  of  anecdote  and  illustration,  and  delighted  to 
talk  as  much  as  we  did  to  listen,  and  often  he  was  yery  elo- 
quent in  these  class  lectures.  It  was  not  all  ornament,  how- 
ever,  but  he  showed  a  thorough-going  mastery  of  the  sub- 
ject. Then  we  took  up  logic  and  metaphysics — ^Duncan  and 
Locke  were  our  authors.  In  ethics  we  studied  Paley,  our 
recitations  all  conducted  as  before.  This  took  up  three  days 
of  each  week.  On  two  other  days  we  had  written  or  extem- 
pore debates  before  Dr.  Dwight,  he  summing  up  at  the 
close.  On  Saturday  we  had  the  Catechism,  Vincent's  Ex- 
position, followed  by  a  theological  lecture.  You  see  it  was 
more  than  a  college — ^it  was  partly  a  divinity  school.  That 
was  the  idea  of  its  original  founders. 

In  this  year  I  wrote  a  whimsical  dialogue  against  infi- 
delity, which  I  rewrote  in  East  Hampton,  t  also  wrote  a 
dissertation  on  the  life  of  Christ,  which  I  afterward  preach 
ed  at  East  Hampton.  It  was  for  some  prize,  I  forget  what. 
Hart  also  wrote ;  and  they  gave  me  the  prize,  but  divided 
the  money  between  us. 

I  believe  my  earliest  attempt  at  original  writing  was  an 
argument  against  Tom  Paine  somewhere  in  my  Sophomore 
or  Junior  year.    I  showed  a  sketch  to  Roger  Sherman,  and 


aSNIOS  YIULB.  49 

he  paid  it  some  attention,  by  which  I  was  flattered  and  en- 
couraged. 

Aboat  the  same  time,  also,  I  read  Samuel  Clarke's  k  pri- 
ori Argument  for  the  Bemg  of  God,  which  had  generally 
been  considered  sound.  I  read  him,  and  was  not  satisfied. 
Bead  him  again,  and  was  still  less  pleased.  Read  him  a 
third  time,  and  threw  him  into  the  fire.  Dr.  Dwight  him- 
self was  dissatisfied  with  his  argument.  Sherman  defended 
him,  and  we  Sophs  thought  his  defense  was  a  mighty  fine 
thing.  We  bought  him  a  watch*  After  leaving  college  I 
hi^pened  to  be  in  Fairfield,  and  spent  a  night  with  Sherman. 
In  course  of  conversation,  I  observed  that  I  used  to  think  he 
had  the  better  of  Dr.  Dwight  in  that  argument,  but  that  I 
had  changed  my  opinion. 

*^  Well,"  said  he,  laughing,  ^*I  have  changed  mine  too." 
I  spent  my  vacations  at  Uncle  Lot  Benton's.    He  had 
moved  to  Old  Ouilford.    Uncle  Lot  was  proud  of  me.    He 
had  mind.    I  used  to  carry  over  my  compositions  and  read 
them  to  him.    He  would  cock  up  his  eye  and  say,  '^£f  I'd 
had  a  college  edication,  don't  ye  think  I  could  have  written 
as  well  as  tiiat  ?"    Oh,  he  was  very  proud.    It  was  a  great 
delight  to  him  afterward  to  hear  my  sermons.    It  was  a 
great  reward. 
H.  B.  S.  "  Did  not  he  ever  argue  the  point  with  you  ?" 
Argue?    Yes,  indeed, he  did  argue, but  was  always  com- 
mitted so  as  never  to  yield.    He  never  did  yield.    He 
wouldn't  yield  even  to  me.     Cauldn^t  give  up. 
H.  B.  S.  "  Did  Unde  Lot  pay  your  bills  through  college  ?" 
In  great  part,  and  what  he  did  not  pay  father  paid  him- 
self.    Father  used  to  have  the  "hypo"  dreadfully  about 
supporting  me.    Esther  heard  him  telling  her  mother  he 
could  not  stand  it ;  he  should  certainly  have  to  take  me  out 
of  college,  or  they  should  all  go  to  ruin.    She  answered,  no- 


50  ▲UTOmOGBAPHT. 

bly  (she  was  my  step-mother),  that  she  couldn't  have  it  so ; 
and  said  that  her  property  might  go  to  pay  my  bills.  There 
was  some  property  of  hers,  and  he  had  the  use  of  it. 

H.  B.  S.  "  Did  you  know  how  he  felt  ?" 

Yes ;  I  knew  that  he  was  bankrupt,  as  he  supposed.  I 
recollect  saying,  ^^  Father,  you  needn't  be  concerned ;  you 
have  enough  to  live  on  at  present ;  and  when  I  get  through 
and  haye  a  home,  I'll  take  care  of  you." 

"  Pooh !  poor  fellow  I"  said  he,  "  you'll  scratch  a  poor 
man's  head  all  your  lifetime." 

I  did  help  myself  a  little,  though.  Staples,  the  butler,  left 
college  six  weeks  before  the  end  of  the  year,  and  I  took  the 
buttery,  and  bought  out  his  stock  for  about  $300,  which  I 
borrowed.  I  went  into  it  hot  and  heavy.  One  day  I 
bought  a  lot  of  watermelons  and  cantelopes,  and  trundled 
them  across  the  green  on  a  wheelbarrow,  in  the  face  of  the 
whole  college.  I  sent  to  New  York  by  an  English  parson 
(a  judge  of  the  article),  and  bought  a  hogshead  of  porter. 
It's  odd ;  but  I  can  remember  selling  tlungs  to  Moses  Stuart 
— two  classes  below  me. 

That  buttery  was  a  regular  thing  in  those  days;  it  has 
wholly  disappeared  since,  and  is  almost  forgotten.  The  old 
Latin  laws  are  a  curiosity.* 

H.  W.  «  Did  it  pay  well  ?" 

Well,  I  paid  my  note,  and,  besides  $100  in  bad  debts, 
cleared  my  Commencement  expenses,  bought  a  suit  of 

*  The  following  is  an  extract : 

"Promo  licentia  in  promptnario  vendendi  vinnm  pomaceom,  hydro- 
melem,  crevisiam  fortem  (non  plus  qnam  cadoe  dnodecim  annoatim),  sac- 
charom  rigidam,  tabulos,  tabacnm,  et  talia  scholaribns  necessaria,  non  a 
dispensatore  in  cnlina  venalia." 

**The  butler  may  sell  in  the  buttery  cider,  metheglin,  strong  beer  (not 
more  than  twelve  barrels  a  year),  loaf-sugar,  pipes,  tobacco,  and  other 
necessaries  of  students  not  furnished  by  the  steward  in  the  commons.'* 


8BNIOB  YSAB.  61 

dotheSy  and  had  $100  in  cash.  I  worked  hard.  If  I  had 
gone  into  business  then  I  should  have  made  money. 

H.W.  *' Father,  was  it  in  this  year  that  night-chase  of 
yours  happened  ?    Tell  us  about  it." 

Oh,  that  was  earlier,  I  believe ;  but  no  matter.  One 
night  I  was  awakened  by  a  noise  at  my  window.  I  listen- 
ed, and  found  somebody  was  pulling  my  clothes  through  a 
broken  pane.  I  jumped  up  just  in  time  to  see  my  clothes 
disappear.  The  next  moment  I  was  out  of  the  window  and 
in  full  chase.  The  feUow  dropped  his  booty,  and  fled  down 
one  street  and  up  another,  doubling  and  turning,  till  at  last 
I  caught  him.  I  took  him  by  the  collar ;  he  attempted  to 
strike ;  I  warded  ofl"^  and  pushed  him  over,  and  sprung  on 
him,  and  choked  him  till  he  begged ;  then  I  let  him  up ;  saw 
he  was  fumbling  in  his  pocket  for  a  knife ;  took  it  away,  and 
marched  him  back  to  my  room,  and  made  him  Ho  on  my 
floor  by  my  bed  till  morning.  If  he  stirred,  I  said, "  Lie  still, 
sir !"  In  the  morning  I  had  him  before  the  justice.  Squire 
Daggett,  who  discharged  him  because  I  lost  sight  of  him 
once  round  a  comer.  I  met  the  fellow  afterward,  but  he 
would  never  look  me  in  the  eye. 


AUTOBIOOKAPBY. 


CHAPTER  X. 


Mom  JtUs  C.  E.  Beecher. 
'*Deab  Bbotheb, — At  your  request  I  send  yon  a  few 
Btatements  to  be  inserted  in  father's  Autobiography  vith 
reference  to  onr  mother's  family  history : 

"  It  seems  there  was  an  Andrew  Ward  in  the  same  com- 
pany of  settlers  in  which  Hannah  Beecher  came  over  with 
Davenport.  A  descendant  of  hia,  Colonel  Andrew  Ward, 
~  waa  in  the  old  French  war,  and  was  present  at  the  captnre 
of  Louisbourg.    It  is  told  of  him  that,  being  a  stanch  cold- 


NUTPLAIK8.  53 

water  mao,  he  sold  his  grog,  or  took  money  in  lien  of  it,  and 
bought  six  silver  tablenspoons,  on  which  he  had  engraved 
the  name  Looisbourg,  some  of  which  are  still  preserved  in 
the  family  as  curious  relics. 

^  Greneral  Andrew  Ward,  son  of  that  colonel,  served  un- 
der Washington  in  the  Revolution.  It  was  his  regiment  that 
remained  at  Trenton  to  deceive  the  enemy  by  keeping  u]> 
the  camp-fires  while  Washington  drew  off  his  army.  It  is 
related  of  him  that,  being  naturally  of  an  amiable,  easy  tem- 
perament, he  found  it  hard  to  say  no  to  his  men  when  they 
asked  for  furloughs.  This  having  been  reported  at  head- 
quarters, Washington  wrote  him  a  letter,  implying  some 
censure.    This  letter  is  still  preserved  in  the  family. 

'^•For  many  years  General  Ward  was  elected  representa- 
tive. It  is  a  tradition  that,  when  Town  Meeting  was  held, 
some  one  of  the  dignitaries  of  the  town  would  rise  at  the 
appointed  time  and  say,  ^  The  meeting  is  now  open,  and  you 
will  proceed  to  vote  for  General  Ward  and  Deacon  Burgess 
for  representatives.^  And  so  they  did.  At  length,  howev- 
er, there  was  a  rebellion.  The  people  elected  a  candidate  of 
their  own  nomination.  When  the  general  came  home,  it 
was  asked  him, '  Who  is  chosen  representative  this  time  V 

** '  Old  Joe  ^*s  son,^  answered  the  general,  with  im- 
mense disdain. 

**  Now  this  old  Joe  was  a  noted  sheep-stealer. 

"Eli  Poote,  General  Ward's  son-in-law,  was  descended 
from  Nathaniel  Foote,  who  moved  from  Massachusetts  to 
Connecticut  with  Hooker's  company,  and  settled  in  Weth- 
ersfield. 

'^His  father  was  Daniel  Foote,  of  Colchester,  a  member 

of  the  Constitutional  Convention,  and  author,  so  traditioii 

states,  of  an  unpublished  treatise  on  Original  Sin. 

"  Eli  Foote  was  a  man  of  fine  person,  polished  mnnnors, 

C  2 


54  AUTOBIOQSAPHT. 

and  cultivated  taste,  of  whom  it  was  said,  ^  Give  him  a  book, 
and  he  is  as  happy  as  if  he  owned  Kensington  Palace.' 

'^  He  was  educated  for  the  bar,  and  practiced  a  little  in 
Guilford,  but  eventually  became  a  merchant,  and  traded  at 
the  South.  He  married  Roxana,  the  daughter  of  General 
Ward,  by  whom  he  had  ten  children. 

"  Before  his  marriage  Mr.  Foote  resided  in  an  Episcopal 
family,  and  thus  became  interested  in  that  communion. 

*^  General  Ward  also,  though  belonging  to  the  prevailing 
Calvinistio  denomination,  inclined  to  Arminian  sentimients. 
When,  therefore,  Mr.  Foote  married  the  daughter  of  Gen- 
eral Ward,  they  joined  the  Episcopal  Church,  and  their  chil- 
dren were  brought  up  in  it. 

"  Mr.  Foote's  house  stood  on  the  norfti  comer  of  Guilford 
Green,  where  were  bom  his  ten  children.  Before  the  birth 
of  the  youngest,  he  died  in  North  Carolina  of  the  yellow 
fever. 

*'  General  Ward  immediately  took  to  his  house  at  Nut- 
plains  the  whole  family,  and  became  a  father  to  the  children, 
and  their  chief  educator. 

^'  He  was  a  great  reader,  and  of  rather  careless  habits  in 
household  matters.  It  was  sSdd  of  him  that  he  came  home 
from  the  Legislature  with  his  saddle-bags  loaded  with  books 
on  one  side  and  nails  on  the  other.  So,  when  he  had  taken 
his  hammer,  and  gone  all  over  the  place,  and  used  up  all  the 
nails  mending  and  patching,  he  would  come  in  and  read  all 
the  books.  In  this  way  he  read  the  whole  public  library 
through.  It  was  his  custom  to  read  aloud  to  his  family, 
with  remarks  and  discussions  to  excite  thought  and  interest. 

*'  During  the  time  of  the  massacres  at  St.  Domingo,  several 
French  gentlemen  escaped  to  this  country,  and  one  of  them, 
M.  Loyzell,  became  a  resident  in  Guilford.  He  became  in- 
tjmnte  in  Mr.  Foote's  family,  and  w?w  effpecially  interested 


NUTPLAINS.  55 

in  our  mother,  then  quite  young.  With  his  aid  she  learned 
to  write  and  speak  French  fluently.  He  loaned  her  the  best 
French  authors,  and  she  studied  as  she  spun  flax,  tying  the 
books  to  her  distafll 

^'In  one  of  mother^s  letters,  written  soon  after  the  family 
removal  to  Nutplains,  she  gives  a  glimpse  of  their  mode  of 
life: 

*^  *'  I  generally  rise  with  the  sun,  and,  after  breakfast,  take 
my  wheel,  which  is  my  daily  companion,  and  the  evening  is 
generally  devoted  to  reading,  writing,  and  knitting.  Ward 
is  keepmg  school  at  Howlet's.  Mary,  Sam,  George,  and 
Catharine  pass  their  time  in  playing  in  the  piazza.  George 
sometimes  ^ets  Sam's  whip,  or  string,  or  Sam  oversets  some 
of  Mary's  furniture,  or  pushes  Catharine,  or  some  such  mis- 
chievous trick.  In  such  cases  sister  Roxana  is  always  ap- 
pealed to. 

" ' "  George  has  broke  my  whip." 

"  * "  I  didn't  do  it  on  p — ^purpose." 

" ' "  Yes,  you  did,  sir." 

"  * "  N — n — ^no,  I  didn't,  for  I  w — was  a  striking  the  floor, 
and  it  b—b— broke."  And  so  Mary  is  called  in  to  say 
whether  George  broke  it  *  on  p — purpose'  or  no.  We  fre- 
quently have  such  disturbances,  but  they  do  not  last  long.' 

^  In  a  letter  written  while  on  a  visit  at  Newburgh,  on  the 
Hudson,  she  says : 

'' '  How  do  I  spend  my  time  ?  Really  I'm  at  a  loss  to  an- 
swer. I  sew  a  little,  and  play  the  guitar  a  little,  and  do  not 
read  even  a  little,  for  I  have  no  books.  I  converse  consid- 
erably in  French  with  M.  and  Mme.  Bridet,  who  seem  much 
pleased  to  find  any  one  who  can  understand  their  language.' 

*'  Gteneral  Ward,  by  way  of  characterizing  his  three  eld- 
est granddaughters,  used  to  say,  laughingly,  that,  when  the 
girls  first  came  down  in  the  morning,  Harrietts  voice  would 


56  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

be  heard  brisklj  calliog,  ^  Here  I  take  the  broom ;  sweep  up ; 
make  a  fire ;  make  haste !' 

'^  Betsy  Chittenden  would  say,  *I  wonder  what  ribbon 
it's  best  to  wear  at  that  party  ?' 

^'  But  Roxana  would  say,  ^  Which  do  you  think  was  the 
greater  general,  Hannibal  or  Alexander?' 

*^  When  father  first  became  acquainted  with  the  family, 
General  Ward's  mother,  widow  of  the  colonel  of  Lonisbourg 
memory,  was  still  living,  and  survived  to  her  hundredth  year. 

^'Thus  he  conversed  with  one  who  herself  conversed  with 
the  first  Pilgrim  Fathers  at  Boston.  For  it  is  related  of 
her  that,  being  troubled  in  mind  on  doctrinal  points,  she 
rested  not  till  her  husband,  then  master  of  a  coasting  vessel, 
had  taken  her  on  a  voyage  to  Boston  to  see  a  celebrated 
divine  of  that  city,  noted  for  his  success  in  relieving  such 
difficulties.  Thus  there  was  but  a  single  link  between  our 
fiEither  at  that  time  and  the  Puritan  founders. 

**  It  is  related  of  this  old  lady,  who  was  of  the  Fowler  fam- 
ily, and  very  tenacious  of  existing  distinctions  of  rank,  that, 
hearing  a  grandchild  speak  to  a  common  laborer,  of  rather 
doubtful  character,  as  Mr.,  she  said,  ^  No,  child,  not  Mr. ; 
Gaffer  is  for  such  as  he.    Mr.  is  for  gentlemen.' 

^^  Another  time,  it  is  said  that  at  a  party,  noticing  one  of 
the  Leet  fiunily  dressed  in  velvet,  she  was  well  pleased ;  but 
soon  after,  observing  another,  of  more  plebeian  origin,  in  a 
similar  dress,  she  exclaimed, '  High  times,  high  times,  when 
the  commonalty  dress  in  velvet  1' 

^^  In  her  last  days  her  mind  wandered,  and  her  grandsons, 
Henry  and  Ward,  were  often  sent  to  amuse  her.  Henry  was 
full  of  pranks  and  merriment.  In  performing  this  duty  he 
would  knock  at  his  grandmother's  door,  and  then  his  broth- 
er Ward  would  introduce  him  as  General  Washington,  or 
some  other  distinguished  peraon  she  had  known.    Henry 


NUTPULINS.  57 

wonld  then  carry  on  long  conversations  in  his  assomed  char- 
acter, growing  more  and  more  improbable  and  absurd  in  his 
details,  till,  discovering  the  ruse,  the  old  lady  would  shake 
her  stick  at  him  and  say, '  Oh  you  rogue,  Henry !  At  your 
tricks  again  r 

''  In  about  a  year  after  Mr.  Foote's  death,  a  fine  daughter, 
twelve  years  old,  died.  A  few  months  after,  the  old  grand- 
mother, in  her  hundredth  year,  was  gathered  to  her  rest. 
Seven  months  after.  Ward,  the  oldest  son,  died  of  dysentery, 
aged  16.  In  a  week  after,  Henry,  the  second  son,  aged  14, 
died  of  the  same  disease.  Thus,  in  two  years,  five  members 
of  the  family  were  laid  in  the  grave. 

^*  General  Ward  felt  deeply  the  loss  of  his  oldest  grandson 
and  namesake.  It  was  a  blow  from  which  he  never  seemed 
to  recover.  Wai*d  was  a  remarkably  mature  and  energetic 
youth,  and  seemed  peculiarly  fitted  to  take  his  father's  place 
to  the  younger  children.  Henry  was  the  light  of  the  house- 
hold, with  his  bright  face,  cheery  voice,  and  constant  merry- 
making's. 

^'  The  following  note,  written  in  a  handsome  hand,  on  the 
back  side  of  the  governor's  proclamation,  is  the  only  memo- 
rial left  of  the  boy  so  beloved : 

" '  His  Excellency  Henry  Foote,  Esq.,  to  Roxana,  greeting : 

"*Know  you,  that  when  I  left  I  expected  to  return  to- 
night ;  but,  upon  mature  deliberation,  I  consider  it  best  for 
the  general  good  of  the  fhmily  and  the  hay  not  to  do  so. 
It  is  likely  that  Ward  will  be  down  at  night,  if  it  does  not 
rain  hard.  If  he  is  not,  you  must  defend  the  castle  as  well 
as  possible.  If  you  receive  no  supplies,  you  must,  surrender 
on  the  best  terms  you  can.  If  you  should  think  fit  to  leave 
the  garrison  to-night,  don't  mention  the  hetchel  nor  spindle. 
« *  Signed,  Wm.  Henut  Foots.'  " 


58  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

^^When  our  mother's  first  and  her  fourth  sons  were  bom, 
Grandma  Foote  was  with  her,  and  named  the  former  Wil- 
liam Henry,  from  one  of  her  long-lost  boys,  the  latter  Henry 
Ward,  from  both. 

^^The  family  residence  at  Nntplains  was  playfully  called 
by  its  inmates  Castle  Ward.  There  was  nothing  about  it 
like  a  castle  except  that  it  had  been  built  piecemeal,  from 
time  to  time,  as  needed.  To  see  it  from  the  road,  you  would 
say  it  was  much  in  the  style  of  other  New  England  farm- 
houses of  the  period. 

"  Among  other  buildings  there  was  a  spinning-mill,  built 
by  General  Ward  on  a  little  brook  that  run  past  the  end  of 
the  lot  back  of  the  house,  and  furnished  with  machinery  for 
turning  three  or  four  spinning-wheels  by  water-power.  This 
spinning-mill  was  a  favorite  %pot.  Here  the  girls  often  re- 
ceived visitors,  or  read  or  chatted  while  th6y  spun. 

"The  drawing  I  have  made*  of  the  Ward  house  repre- 
sents it  as  it  appeared  in  my  childhood,  after  the  various 
additions  had  been  completed.  Though  drawn  from  mem- 
ory, the  sketch  is  so  correct  that  one  of  mother's  youthftil 
friends  recognized  it  at  a  glance,  exclaiming, '  The  old  Ward 
place !' 

"  The  other  drawingf  represents  the  rear  of  the  house, 
with  the  spinning-mill  and  cemetery. 

"But  every  vestige,  both  of  the  old  house  and  of  the  mUl, 
has  passed  away,  except  the  stones  of  the  dam.  The  mill 
was  in  a  ravine,  where  the  small  building  back  of  the  house 
appears  on  the  drawing,  but  was  too  low  down  to  be  in 
sight.  It  was  at  a  point  where  a  small  brook  enters  the 
stream,  which  now  is  called  East  River,  and  is  so  near  the 

*  See  the  yignette  at  the  head  of  this  chapter, 
t  Vignette,  Chapter  XI. 


NUTFLAUYS.  59 

Sonnd  at  this  place  as  to  rise  and  fall  with  the  tide,  and  re- 
ceive the  welcome  shad  in  the  spring. 

c^This  river  and  its  bridge,  and  the  little  boat  always 
foond  there,  have  been  the  delightful  resort  of  the  children 
of  the  Ward,  and  Foote,  and  Beecher  families  for  four  gen- 
erations. Here  I  made  mj  first  attempts  at  rowing  a  boat, 
which  always  would  go  a  different  way  from  the  one  aim- 
ed at,  and  always  would  be  caught  on  *OId  Peak' — the 
pointed  rock  seen  on  the  picture  near  the  bridge — which 
also  has  been  the  antagonist  of  all  the  succeeding  juveniles 
in  their  first  naval  exploits.  The  boats  and  the  banks  of 
this  little  river  have  witnessed  more  frolics,  and  more  fright- 
ful disasters  to  children's  wardrobes,  than  could  be  named, 
all  remedied  or  concealed  by  the  tenderest  of  grandmothers, 
or  duly  rebuked  by  more  cohsiderate  sapervisors. 

^The  cemetery  which  appears  on  the  drawing  was  laid 
out  by  Qeneral  Ward.  Here  he  laid  his  aged  mother,  his 
wife,  his  beloved  boys  Henry  and  Ward,  and  then  went  to 
his  rest  by  their  side. 

**The  oldest  remaining  son,  John,  was  taken  by  his  Uncle 
Justin  Foote  as  a  clerk,  and  then  as  partner,  in  a  commercial 
business  in  New  York.  It  was  this  brother  who  secured 
for  our  mother  the  instructions  of  a  good  artist  in  New 
York,  which  enabled  her  to  draw  and  paint  in  water  and 
oil  colors. 

'^The  next  son,  Samuel,  at  sixteen  became  a  sailor;  and 
such  were  his  native  talents  and  diligent  study  of  naviga- 
tion, that,  in  his  second  voyage,  he  returned  first  mate  of  a 
brig,  and,  before  he  was  twenty-one,  was  commander  of  a 
ship. 

^^By  his  instrumentality  the  old  Ward  house  was  taken 
down,  and  a  new  one  built  a  few  yards  from  it. 

"This  gentleman  has  often  been  hoard  to  affirm,  with  sol- 


60  AUTOB^OQ&APHT. 

ema  drollery,  that  when  the  pantry  of  the  old  house  was  re> 
moved,  under  it  was  found  one  of  his  grandmother  Ward's 
rye-crust  pies — ^the  earthen  pie-dish  all  decayed,  but  the  pie- 
crust in  perfect  preservation ! 

^*^The  youngest  son,  Greorge,  took  charge  of  the  farm,  sup- 
ported his  mother  and  sisters,  and  eventually  married  and 
raised  another  generation  of  ten  children.  In  advanced 
life  he  bought  another  farm,  and  the  ancetf ral  Ward  farm 
is  now  held  by  his  two  eldest  sons,  Andrew  Ward  Foote 
and  George  Foote." 


UOZAlfA.  FOOi'k:. 


CHAPTER  XI. 

ROXANA    FOOTK. 


Im  the  latter  part  of  my  college  course  my  vacatiooe  took 
me  to  Old  Gailford,  and,  through  Beu  Baldwin,  I  became  ao- 
quainted  at  Nutplains,  a  little  way  out  of  the  village,  where 
waa  the  reeidence  of  General  Andrew  Ward. 

We  went  over  to  Guilford  to  spend  the  Fourth  of  July. 
Baldwin  was  engaged  to  Betsy  Chittenden,  and  took  me  out 
to  Kntplains.  The  girls  were  all  out  at  the  spiuning-mill. 
From  the  homage  of  all  about  her,  I  soon  perceived  that 


62  AUTOBIOORAPHY. 

Roxana  was  of  unccMnmon  ability.  We  went  to  hear  the 
orator  of  the  day,  rather  a  raw  hand,  who,  among  other 
things,  talked  of  '^  cementing  chains  of  love." 

After  he  was  done,  I  made  some  criticism  upon  the  orar 
tion,  at  which  she  laughed,  and  I  saw  she  was  of  quick  per- 
ception in  matters  of  style.  I  soon  saw  that,  in  the  family 
and  out,  Roxana  was  the  mind  that  predominated.  Her 
inflnence  was  great ;  but  it  was  the  influence  of  love. 

I  had  sworn  inwardly  never  to  marry  a  weak  woman.  I 
had  made  up  my  mind  that  a  woman,  to  be  my  wife,  must 
have  sense,  must  possess  strength  to  lean  upon.  She  was 
such  as  I  had  imagined.  The  whole  circle  in  which  she 
moved  was  one  of  uncommon  intelligence,  vivacity,  and  wit. 

There  was  her  sister  Harriet — smart,  witty ;  a  little  too 
keen.  There  was  Sally  Hill,  too,  in  that  cirde,  pretty  be- 
yond measure ;  full  of  witchery,  artless  but  not  weak,  hvely 
and  sober  by  turns,  witty  and  quick. 

Betsy  Chittenden  was  another — ^a  black-eyed,  black-haired 
girl,  full  of  life  as  could  be. 

H.  B.  S.  "She  thought  mother  perfection  1" 

The  fact  is,  she  was  not  far  from  the  mark* 

H.  B.  S.  "  And  there  those  girls  used  to  spin,  read  novels, 
talk  about  beaux,  and  have  merry  times  together." 

No  doubt.  They  read  Sir  Charles  Grandison,  and  Rox- 
ana had  said  she  never  meant  to  marry  till  she  had  found 
Sir  Charles's  like.    I  presume  she  thought  she  had. 

All  the  new  works  that  were  published  at  that  day  were 
brought  out  to  Nutplains,  read,  and  discussed  in  the  old 
spinning-mill.  When  Miss  Bumey's  Evelina  appeared,  Sally 
Hill  rode  out  on  horseback  to  bring  it  to  Roxana.  A  great 
treat  they  had  of  it. 

There  was  the  greatest  frolicking  in  that  spinning-mill ! 
Roxana  was  queen  among  those  girls ;  they  did  not  pretend 


BOXUffA  TOOTK.  65 

to  demur  to  her  judgment.  She  shone  pre-emiuent.  They 
almost  worshiped  her. 

I  continued  to  visit  there  for  some  time,  and  as  to  friend- 
ship between  us,  there  was  no  limit  but  what  was  proper. 

One  day  we  all  went  over  to  a  famous  peach-orchard  on 
Hungry  Hill,  the  girls,  and  Baldwin,  and  I.  We  ate  peach- 
es, and  talked,  and  had  a  merry  time.  Baldwin  and  Betsy 
were  full  of  frolic  When  we  set  out  to  come  home  I  kept 
along  with  Roxana,  and,  somehow,  those  good-for-nothing, 
saucy  creatures  would  walk  so  &st  we  couldn't  keep  up,  and 
so  we  had  to  fall  behind. 

I  found  there  was  sometlung  that  must  be  siud,  though  I 
did  not  know  exactly  how.  When  I  inquired  if  she  knew 
of  any  fatal  objections  to  my  proposals,  she  referred  to  the 
length  of  time  before  I  should  complete  my  studies,  and 
hinted  at  our  religious  differences. 

I  replied  that  it  would  be  about  two  years  to  the  end  of 
my  course,  and  asked  permission  to  continue  my  visits  with 
reference  to  this. 

She  consented,  but  thought  to  herself,  as  she  aflerward 
told  me,  that  probably  it  would  not  amount  to  any  thing. 

Soon  after  that,  however,  it  ripened  into  an  engagement, 
in  which  we  agreed,  quite  bravely,  that  if  either  of  us  re- 
pented we  would  let  it  be  known,  and  so  the  matter  stood. 

To  Hooeana. 

**  New  Haven,  Febmaiy  16,  '98. 
^^In  half  an  hour  I  must  close  this  letter,  or  omit  writing 
till  next  week.  When  you  have  perused  the  contents,  I  sup- 
pose you  will  wish  I  had,  for  I  have  little  to  write  that  is  in- 
teresting. Indeed,  my  chief  motive  in  writing  is  the  sooner 
to  receive  a  line  from  you. 

"  Do  not,  however,  measure  yours  by  the  length  of  mine. 


66  AUTOKOaitAPUY. 

or.  oonfine  yourself  simply  to  answering  it ;  above  all,  do  not 
sappose  the  state  of  my  feelings  always  to  correspond  to  the 
present. 

^'  Since  my  return  I  have  been  too  completely  ocoapied 
to  choose  my  own  time  for  writing,  so  that,  as  Virgil  terms 
them,  >  the  soft  moments  of  address' — ^those  moments  when 
feeling  gives  energy  to  langoage,  when  the  sool  stamps  her 
image  on  every  sentence,  flashing  conviction  to  the  most 
skeptical  heart — ^I  have  been  obliged  to  lose.  How  great 
the  loss  I  can  not  estimate  till  you  inform  me  how  skeptical 
your  heart  is. 

^'  You  are  at  least  skeptic  enough  not  to  believe  that  fish 
sport  on  the  mountains,  or  streams  run  up  hill ;  and  while 
you  continue  so,  I  shall  remaiif  in  your  belief,  what  I  am  in 
my  own  from  feeling,  yours  unchangeably." 

Jfirom  £axana. 

**  Natpkins,  Februaiy  23,  '98. 
"  *  *  *  I  can  not  comply  with  your  request  of  not 
making  your  letter  the  measure  of  my  own.  I  do  not  like  to 
be  too  obliging ;  and,  whatever  you  may  please  to  think  to 
the  contrary,  am  fully  resolved  to  be  of  the  opinion  that  ev- 
ery line  of  mine  is  worth  one  of  yours.  *  *  *  My  heart 
is  not  a  skeptical  one ;  but  whether  it  has  faith  enough  to 
be  convinced  that  it  is  as  impossible  a  young  gentleman 
should  change  his  opinion  as  that  a  river  should  run  back  to 
its  source,  is  a  point  not  yet  settled. 

^'Let  me  see ;  it  is  now  three  whole  months,  or  is  it  not 
so  long?  that  yon  have  not  changed  your  sentiments,  and, 
therefore,  you  conclude  you  shall  not  in  so  many  years,  and 
tell  me  I  can  not  entertain  a  doubt.  Really  I  do  not  see 
any  reason  why  I  may  not  entertain  a  thousand.    No,  'tis 


BOXAITA  FOOTS.  67 

in  the  highest  degree  unreasonable  to  suppose  a  man  would 
change  his  mind.    Was  it  ever  known  to  be  the  case  ?  " 


To  Hoxana. 

<'  New  HaTen,  February  26,  *98. 

^'  You  doubt  the  permanence  of  my  attachment.  Believe 
me,  it  is  not  the  result  of  fancy  or  a  sudden  flush  of  passion. 
*  *  *  I  discover  in  you  those  qualities  which  I  esteem- 
ed indispensable  to  my  happiness  long  before  I  knew  you. 
Will  absence  kill  esteem,  or  the  affection  that  flows  from  it  ? 
No ;  the  emotions  of  this  moment  contradict  the  idea.  I 
am  yours,  and  you  mine,  for  life ;  and  the  prayers  I  make 
for  you  in  that  character  are,  I  tmst,  recorded  in  heaven.'' 


68  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 


CHAPTER  XIL 

DIVINITY  TEAB. 

CoBCMENCEMENT  Came,  and  I  took  my  diploma.    The  ap- 
pointments were  given  on  mathematical  excellence  chiefly,  . 
and  here  I  was  deficient,  so  I  received  no  part.    I  gave, 
however,  what  was  called  the  valedictory  address  on  pre- 
sentation day,  six  weeks  before  Commencement. 

My  class  was,  on  the  whole,  one  of  the  best.  Dr.  Dwight 
said  he  never  instructed  more  than  one  other  which,  on  the 
whole,  equaled  it. 

None  very  superior  or  very  inferior,  but  the  general 
average  good.  Murdoch,  who  has  traced  them  out,  says 
that  of  the  whole  number  sixteen  became  lawyers  and  thir- 
teen ministers  of  the  Gospel.  All  were  bom  in  New  Eng- 
land, and  nearly  all  of  Puritan  descent.  Few  classes  have 
been  more  useful  in  their  day  and  generation. 

On  leaving  college,  I  entered  the  divinity  school  under 
Dr.  Dwight  with  three  others,  classmates — ^John  Niles,  Ira 
Hart,  James  Murdoch.  Niles  was  first-rate  in  strength,  very 
pious,  and  afterward  became  an  Old  School  minister.  Mur- 
doch was  professor  a  while  at  Andover.  They  are  all  three 
dead  now.    I  am  the  only  one  left. 

We  had  no  Hebrew.  There  was  no  such  seminary  as 
Andover  then.  Dr.  Dwight  marked  out  for  us  a  course  of 
reading,  and  gave  us  subjects  to  write  upon.  Once  a  week 
we  met  to  read  our  pieces  and  discuss  questions  before  him.* 

*  Sereral  of  tbeie  papers  are  still  preserved.  The  following  are  some 
of  the  titles: 

''Can  the  existenoe  of  an  Eternal  Fint  Caose  be  proved  from  the  li^t 
of  Nature  ?"    **  Can  there  be. such  a  thing  as  infinite  sncceision  ?    Is  mat- 


DIVINITY    TXAB.  69 

After  we  had  done,  he  lectured  an  hoar.  We  read  Hop- 
kins's Divinity,  but  did  not  take  him  implicitly.  Also  Ed- 
wards, Bellamy,  and  Andrew  Fuller.  Fuller  groped  out  by 
his  own  mental  conflicts  the  truth  that  Edwards  had  al- 
ready published.  Then  he  got  acquainted  with  Edwards. 
He  was  in  Old  England  what  Edwards  was  in  New.  Em- 
mons was  not  publbhed  then.  I  read  him  after  I  left  Long 
Island. 

My  health  was  such  that  I  did  not  study  more  than  nine 
months.  I  became,  however,  thoroughly  versed  in  the  sub- 
jects studied  by  the  class.  These  were  mostly  on  the  evi- 
dences of  Christianity.  The  Deistic  controversy  was  an  ex- 
isting thing,  and  the  battle  was  hot,  the  crisis  exciting. 
Dr.Dwight  was  the  great  stirrer-up  of  that  controversy  on 
this  side  the  Atlantic.  As  to  doctrines,  we  had  his  course 
of  sermons,  and  were  left  pretty  much  to  ourselves  and  om* 
reading. 

Dwight  was,  however,  a  revival  preacher,  and  a  new  era 
of  revivals  was  commencing.  There  had  been  a  general 
suspension  of  revivals  after  the  Edwardean  era  during  the 
Revelation ;  but  a  new  day  was  dawning  as  I  came  on  the 
stage,  and  I  was  baptized  into  the  revival  spirit.  Niles  and 
Hart  were  of  the  same  temper,  and  so  was  Murdoch  in  some 
degree. 

ter  eternal  ?  Is  the  earth  eternal  ?**  "  Is  the  sonl'  immaterial  ?**— a  hn- 
moroos  dialogue  between  a  materialist  and  a  beUever.  *'Is  Berelation 
necessary  ?*'    "  Was  Moses  the  author  of  the  Fentatench  ?'* 

Several  of  these  compositions  might  still  repay  pemsal,  particularly  the 
last,  which  compares  favorably  with  some  recent  works  on  the  same  sub- 
ject. 

On  the  whole,  we  gain  a  liTely  impression  of  the  interest  of  those  hours, 
opening  by  the  reading  of  the  pupils'  own  best  efibrts,  and  concluding  by 
the^cogent,  copious,  and  ornate  eloquence  of  Dr.  Dwight,  "who  always 
loved  to  talk,"  said  Dr.  Beecher,  "  as  we  loved  to  listen.** 


70  ▲UTOBIOaRAPHT. 

Niles  and  I  walked  over  twice  a  week  to  West  Haven, 
and  spoke  in  evening  meetings  in  Father  Williston^s  society. 
The  people  tamed  out  to  hear  ns,  and  there  were  some  con- 
versions. I  had  much  interest  in  my  subjects ;  was  im- 
pulsive and  vehement.  Wish  I  could  hear  somebody  speak 
as  I  used  to  then.  I  ^^tore  a  passion  to  tatters.''  Niles 
thought  me  too  vehement,  flowery,  metaphorical.  He  spoke 
sensibly  and  well,  but  couldn't  keep  up  with  me  anyhow — 
too  rhetorical,  he  said.  I  could  see  there  was  interest  when 
I  spoke.  The  fact  is,  I»made  the  application  of  my  sermons 
about  as  pungent  then  as  ever  afterward.*  . 

I  did  it  by  instinct.  I  had  read  Edwards's  Sermons. 
There's  nothing  comes  within  a  thousand  miles  of  them 
now.  But  I  never  tried  to  copy  him,  nor  any  body  else. 
I  did  it  because  I  wanted  to.  It  is  curious  how  different 
men  are !  There  was  Murdoch,  now,  a  good  linguist — ^trans- 
lated Mosheim — a  good  mathematician,  but  no  vim  for  ac- 
tion.   He  could  plod,  collect,  compile,  and  I  could  not. 

I  was  made  for  action.  The  Lord  drove  me,  but  I  was 
ready.  I  have  always  been  going  at  full  speed.  The  fifty 
years  of  my  active  life  have  been  years  of  rapid  development. 

I  foresaw  it  from  the  first.  I  ha|}  studied  the  prophecies, 
and  knew  that  the  punishment  of  the  Antichristian  powers 
was  just  at  hand.  I  read  also  the  signs  of  the  times.  I  felt 
as  if  the  conversion  of  the  world  to  Christ  was  near.  It  was 
with  such  views  of  the  prophetic  future  that  I  from  the  be- 
ginning consecrated  myself  to  Christ,  with  special  reference 
to  the  scenes  I  saw  to  be  opening  upon  the  world.  I  have 
never  laid  out  great  plans.  I  have  always  waited,  and  watch- 
ed the  fulfillments  of  prophecy,  and  followed  the  leadings 

*  The  remainder  of  this  chapter  contains  the  substance  of  conTersation- 
al  statements  taken  down  as  uttered,  and  revised  in  connection  with  his 
own  written  statement  in  the  pre£sce  to  his  works  published  in  1853. 


11 

of  FroTidence.  From  the  beginniDg  my  mind  has  taken  in 
the  Church  of  God,  my  comitry,  and  the  world  as  given  to 
Christ.  It  is  this  that  has  widened  the  scope  of  my  activi- 
ties beyond  the  common  sphere  of  pastoral  labor.  For  I 
soon  found  myself  harnessed  to  the  Chariot  of  Christ,  whose 
wheels  of  fire  have  rolled  onward,  high  and  dreadful  to  his 
foes,  and  glorious  to  his  friends.  I  could  not  stop.  As 
demands  were  made  by  events,  I  met  them  to  the  best  of 
my  ability.  My  ideas  were  all  my  own.  I  never  despised 
creeds.  I  did  not  neglect  the  writings  of  great  and  good 
men.  But  I  always  commenced  my  investigations  of  Chris- 
tian doctrines,  duty,  and  experience  witl^the  teachings  of 
the  Bible,  considered  as  a  system  of  moral  government,  legal 
and  evangelical,  in  the  hand  of  a  Mediator,  administered  by 
his  word  and  Spirit,  Qver  a  world  of  rebel,  free,  and  account- 
able subjects.  ' 

And  I  thank  God  that  my  labors  have  not  been  in  vain  in 
the  Lord,  but,  together  with  those  of  the  evangelical  pastors 
and  churches  of  my  day,  have  successfully  advanced,  and 
will,  with  accumulating  progress  and  shock  of  battle,  term- 
inate in  the  glorious  victories  of  the  latter  day. 

D 


12  AXTTOBIOOBAPHT. 


CHAPTER  Xni. 

PBSLUDB  TO  EABLY  COBBSSPONDEKGE. 

M'om  Mrs,  H.  B.  Statoe. 

^^Dbab  Bbotheb, — ^I  can  not  deem  it  just  to  father  that 
his  early  diary  and  religious  correspondence  should  be  pub- 
lished without  some  accompanying  statement  of  the  views 
of  his  maturer  life,  in  regard Ito  the  kind  of  religious  expe- 
rience therein  recorded. 

^'  He  often  expressed  to  me  great  displeasure  at  the  pub- 
lication of  the  private  diaries  of  good  men,  especially  if  they 
were  of  a  melancholy  cast,  or  those  recording  great  alterna- 
tions of  ecstasy  and  gloom. 

'^  He  was  in  the  habit  of  sajdng  to  me  that  the  kind  of 
religious  experience  which  Supposed  God  sometimes  to 
shine,  and  sometimes  to  darken  himself  without  any  account- 
able reason  except  a  mysterious  sovereignty,  was  an  entire 
mistake; — that  the  evidence  of  religion  should  not  lie  in 
these  changes,  but  in  the  mind's  consciousness  of  its  own 
steady,  governing  purpose,  as  witnessed  by  the  habitual 
course  of  the  life 

*^It  is  true  that  a  deep  and  genuine  work  of  the  Holy 
Spirit,  in  revealing  to  the  soul  its  guilty  and  lost  condition, 
is  and  ever  must  be  painful.  No  one  could  insist  more 
strenuously  on  the  necessity  of  such  a  painful  experience 
than  he  always  did,  even  to  his  latest  moments. 

^'  But,  {at  thb  very  reason,  he  always  insisted  as  strenu- 
ously on  the  necessity  of  distinguishing  carefully  between 
the  phenomena  resulting  from  a  diseased  state  of  the  body 


PRELUDE  TO  EABLT  COBBESPONDENCE.        1Z 

and  those  resulting  from  the  genuine  operation  of  the  Spirit. 
The  desponding  and  gloomy  frames  of  sincerely  pious  men, 
he  was  wont  to  say,  were  probably  attributable,  in  a  &r 
greater  degree  than  they  were  themselves  aware,  to  the  nat- 
ural reaction  of  weakened  nerves,  or  some  form  of  physical 
disease.  I  recollect  his  once  laying  down  the  memoir  of  a 
very  celebrated  and  useful  minister,  saying, '  Oh,  why  will 
they  print  out  all  the  horrors  of  a  man's  dyspepsia!' 

^^  Another  point  on  which  he  constantly  insisted  in  his 
after  life  was,  that  it  was  both  unwise  and  unphilosophioal 
for  young  Christians,  at  the  outset  of  their  career,  to  subject 
their  religious  emotions  to  the  test  of  close  metaphysical 
analysis,  at  least  to  the  extent  often  practiced,  a  specimen 
of  which  appears  in  his  own  correspondence. 

^'  I  remember  well  his  instructions  in  meetings  of  young 
Christians,  the  quaint  and  homely  language  in  which  he  some- 
times warned  them  against  these  bewildering  self-examina- 
tions. ^  Some  people,'  he  would  say,  ^  keep  their  magnify- 
ing-glass  ready,  and  the  minute  a  religious  emotion  puts  out 
its  head,  they  catch  it  and  kUl  it,  to  look  at  it  through  their 
microscope,  and  see  if  it  is  of  the  right  kind.  Do  you  not 
know,  my  friends,  that  you  can  not  love,  and  be  examining 
your  love  at  the  same  time  ?  Some  people,  instead  of  get- 
ting evidence  by  running  in  the  way  of  life,  take  a  dark 
lantern,  and  get  down  on  their  knees,  and  crawl  on  the 
boundary  up  and  down,  to  make  sure  whether  they  have 
crossed  it.  If  you  want  to  make  sure,  run,  and  when  you 
come  in  sight  of  the  celestial  city,  and  hear  the  songs  of  the 
angels,  then  you'll  know  you're  across.' 

*'  *•  Some  people  stay  so  near  the  boundary-line  all  their 
lives  that  they  can  hear  the  lions  roar  all  the  while.' 

'^Indeed, for  no  other  thing  did  he  become  more  cele- 
brated than  for  his  power  of  imparting  hope  to  the  despond* 


74  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

ing ;  and  it  was  those  dark  and  doubting  hours  of  his  own 
early  life,  painful  as  they  were»  which  furnished  h^n  with 
the  necessary  knowledge  for  the  guidance  of  hundreds  of 
sensitive  and  troubled  spirits  to  the.  firm  ground  of  a  cheer- 
ful, intelligent  religious  hope. 

*^He  very  early  learned  to  discriminate  in  himself  the  re- 
sults of  physical  disease  and  nervous  depression,  and  trace 
to  their  proper  cause  the  variations  of  moral  feeling  they 
occasioned. 

^^This  was  an  important  element  of  what  he  called  his 
clinical  theology.* 

"From  the  very  first  of  his  ministry,  he  never  preached 
without  his  eye  on  his  audi^ce.  He  noticed  every  chsmge 
of  countenance,  every  indication  of  awakened  interest.  And 
these  he  immediately  followed  up  by  seeking  private  con- 
versation. His  ardor  in  this  pursuit  was  singular  and  al- 
most indescribable.  He  used  to  liken  it  to  the  ardor  of  the 
chase. 

"  The  same  impetuosity  that  made  him,  when  a  boy,  spring 
into  the  water  after  the  first  fish  that  dropped  from  his  hook, 
characterized  all  his  attempts  as  a  fisher  of  men. 

*  His  whole  theology  was  cnntiye.  Convinced  himself  that  the  doc- 
trines of  religion  were  reasonable,  he  felt  unbounded  confidence  in  his 
ability  to  make  them  appear  so  to  others. 

All  his  doctrinal  expositions  of  the  Bible  were  designed  to  obriate  the 
more  common  misapprehensions  and  misconceptions  attending  the  Cal- 
Tinistic  system.  To  this  he  attributed  all  his  success  in  reyiyals,  and  the 
ability  so  far  to  unite  erangelical  minds  of  opposite  schools  on  common 
grounds. 

This  peculiar  shaping  of  doctrine  for  direct  practical  medicinal  ends, 
taken  in  connection  with  his  skillful  observance  of  the  laws  of  the  physical 
and  mental  system,  constituted  that  clinical  theology,  which  was  yet  too 
closely  dependent  upon  his  own  individual  genius  to  ho  adequately  pre- 
served and  transmitted  a»  he  earnestly  desired. 


PBSLUDB  TO  BABLT  COBBB8PONDSNCB.        75 

''Many  souls  now  in  Heaven  must  remember  that^in  the 
beginning  of  their  religious  course,  he  sought  them,  follow- 
ed them,  and  would  not  let  them  go. 

^*  Al  the  same  time,  no  sportsman  ever  watched  a  shy 
bird  with  more  skillful,  wary  eye  than  he  watched  not  to 
disgust,  or  overburden,  or  displease  the  soul  that  he  was 
seeking  to  save.  His  eye,  his  voice,  his  whole  manner,  were 
modulated  with  the  utmost  tact  and  solicitude.  He  could 
tone  himself  down  to  the  most  shy,  timid,  and  &stidious. 
And  seldom,  almost  never,  was  there  a  person  whom  he 
could  not  please  for  their  good. 

**He  excelled  most  particularly  in  the  conduct  of  delicate 
and  desponding  natures,  with  whom  religious  emotion  was 
apt  to  be  complicated  with  nervous  disarrangements.  The 
desponding  religious  inquirer  was  often  surprised  by  a  series 
of  questions  as  to  air^  exercisBj  diet^  habits  of  life,  such  as  are 
generally  the  introductory  examinations  of  a  physician. 

^'  Sometimes,  to  persons  in  a  state  of  terror  and  suffering, 
resulting  from  an  overexcitement  of  the  nervous  system,  he 
would  prescribe  a  week  or  fortnight  of  almost  entire  cessa- 
tion from  all  religious  offices,  with  a  course  of  gentle  mus- 
cular exerdse  and  diversion. 

*'Some  of  his  letters,  which  win  be  published  in  a  subse- 
quent part  of  this  volume,  will  show  how  fully  and  minutely 
he  studied  the  laws  of  the  nervous  system,  and  how  wisely 
he  used  them  in  his  treatment  of  minds. 

^' These  facts  being  understood,!  think  he  would  not  ob- 
ject to  the  presentation  of  this  early  phase  of  his  religious 
experience.  Whatever  mistakes  there  may  have  been  in  it, 
it  shows  the  single-hearted,  overwhelming  earnestness  of  the 
man,  the  intenseness  which  he  put  into  his  religious  life,  and 
the  unsparing  rigor  with  which  he  was  ready  to  test  and 
sentence  himself. 


76  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

'^  And  it  may  serve  as  an  encouragement  to  the  desponds 
ing,  particularly  among  those  preparing  for  the  Gospel  min< 
istry,  that  one  who  is  here  shown,  like  Christian,  to  have 
passed  through  the  Valley  of  the  Shadow  of  Death,  should 
have  become  such  a  Oreat  Heart  in  convoying  pilgrims  to 
the  Celestial  City,  and  should  have  left  upon  the  public  mind 
such  an  impression  of  buoyancy,  elasticity,  and  hopefulness. 

"  Nothing  could  more  strikingly  illustrate  the  growth  and 
change  in  his  mental  habits  than  the  comments  he  made  on 
some  of  these  letters,  when  we  were  reading  over  these  me 
moirs  together.  You  know  how  subject  he  was  to  deep 
lapses  of  abstraction,  in  which  he  would  forget  all  about  the 
reading,  and  wander  off  into  a  reverie. 

^'  I  remember  his  rousing  himself  out  of  one  of  these  turns, 
as  if  some  of  the  close  metaphysical  questions  addressed  to 
mother  in  the  letters  had  caught  his  ear  and  waked  him  up. 

"  *  Stop,  Charles,'  he  said.  •  Who  is  that  fellow  ?  He's 
all  wrong ;  there — ^ 

" '  Why,  father,  these  are  your  letters  to  mother — ^ 

" « Hey  ?    My  letters  ?    Oh  yes,  I  forgot.' 

^^  He  mused  a  few  minutes  more,  and  then  said,  energet- 
ically, 'Well,  I  wcu  an  ignoramus ;'  and  then,  speaking  of 
himself  as  another  person,  he  added,  impressively, '  But  if  I 
had  had  Mm  and  her  in  one  of  my  inquiry  meetings,  I  could 
have  set  them  all  right  in  half  an  hour.' " 


1BA21LY  COSSXSPOKDSNGS.  Y7 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

BABLY  COBBESPONDSNCB. 

About  this  time  I  became  troabled  as  to  the  difference 
of  religious  views  between  myself  and  Roxana.  I  went 
over  to  Nutplains  on  purpose  to  converse  with  her,  and,  if 
the  disagreement  was  too  great,  to  relinquish  the  engage- 
ment. I  explained  my  views,  and  laid  open  before  her  the 
great  plan  of  redemption.  As  I  went  on,  her  bosom  heaved, 
her  tears  flowed,  her  heart  melted,  and  mine  melted  too ; 
and  I  never  told  her  to  her  dying  day  what  I  came  for. 

Still,  I  was  troubled  lest  she  should  be  deceived.  I  was 
afraid  her  piety  was  merely  head-work  and  natural  amiabil- 
ity, and  that  she  had  not  had  a  true  change  of  heart. 

I  sent  her  books  to  read,  and  wrote  to  her  on  the  subject. 


To  jRoxana. 

"  April  16,  •OS. 

*^  The  state  of  my  mind  since  I  last  saw  you  has  been  such 
as  excluded  enjoyment.  The  single  conviction  that  these 
things  are  temporary  and  evanescent,  that  one  thing  is 
needful,  and  that  I  did  not  possess  it,  eclipsed  every  pleas- 
ing prospect.  It  was  the  evil  of  a  sinful,  stupid  heart  that 
oppressed  me — a  stupidity  which  I  could  not  shake  off,  a 
sinfulness  that  sunk  me  to  the  confines  of  despair.  A  feeU 
ing  conviction  that  I  had  never  in  the  course  of  so  many 
years  been  the  subject  of  one  exercise  of  true  love  to  my 
Creator,  stripped  every  action  of  my  life  of  its  seeming  vir- 
tue. What,  then,  could  I  expect  from  any  exertions,  any 
pleadings  of  my  own  ?    They  appeared  to  me  exactly  like 


78  AUTOHIOaiUPHT. 

the  pleadings  of  a  criminal  for  pardon  and  admission  into 
the  family  of  his  sovereign,  not  because  he  loved  him,  but 
merely  to  avoid  punishment.  For  a  number  of  days  I  gave 
up  exertion,  and,  though  I  never  omitted  prayer,  it  was 
formal.    Even  your  cause  was  plead  with  little  animation. 

««From  this  state  of  depression  I  emerged  by  degrees. 
At  present  I  feel  a  calnmess  of  mind,  and  sometimes  a  sat- 
isfaction which,  I  trust,  the  world  can  not  give. 

^'  All  this  may  seem  incompatible  with  former  conversa- 
tions. I  acknowledge  it,  and  can  observe  only  I  was  either 
deceiving  myself  then,  or  have  been  permitted  to  do  it  now ; 
the  first  I  think  nearest  the  truth." 


It  was  a  long  time  from  my  first  awakening  before  I  dared 
to  unite  m3^elf  with  the  Church.  My  hope  was  feeble,  and 
my  fits  of  depression  frequent.  I  was  not  clear  about  myself 
as  many  are.  One  thing  I  knew,  I  wanted  to  preach ;  and 
it  was  not  till  I  had  long  consulted  all  the  movings  of  my 
heart  that,  with  much  trembling,  I  ofiered  myself  for  mem- 
bership in  the  Old  College  Church.* 


To  JRoocana, 

"April  80, '98. 
**  Sunday  afternoon,  with  mingled  emotions  of  hope  and 
fear,  with  a  half  approving,  half  rejoicing,  half  condemning 
heart,  I  sat  down  to  commemorate  the  dying  love  of  the 

*  There,  on  a  leaf  of  the  ancient  Record,  may  still  be  seen  the  follow- 
ing entry,  in  the  handwriting  of  Dr.  Dwight : 

<*  1798.  Ap.  80.  Lyman  Beecher,  of  the  Janior  Bachelor  Class,  bap- 
tixed  at  the  same  time.'* 

The  reason  why  he  was  not  baptized  in  infancy  probably  is  that  his 
Unde  and  Annt  Benton,  by  whom  he  was  brought  np,  were  neither  of 
them  Chnrch  members. 


SABLT  C0BRB8P0NDSNCB.  79 

Redeemer.  I  was  chiefly  occupied  in  examining  the  sincer- 
ity of  my  heart  in  having  devoted  myself  wholly  to  Christ. 
Methought  I  was  willing  to  spend  and  be  spent  in  the  cause 
of  my  Redeemer.    Tet  how  short-lived  such  feelings  t 

^'My  friend,  pray  for  me.     The  work  I  am  called  to  is 
great — ^beyond  conception  great;  and  if  the  language  of  the. 
most  pious  be,  'Who  is  sufficient  for  these  things?'  what 
must  be  mine,  who,  I  fear,  am  less  than  the  least. 

*' After  meeting  I  walked  down  to /West  Haven,  four 
miles,  where  there  is  a  considerable  awakening.  I  read  a 
sermon  on  the  various  methods  which  unrenewed  sinners 
adopt  to  obtain  salvation  without  coming  to  Christ,  till  sud- 
den destruction  /come  upon  them  from  the  Lord.  Extem- 
porized on  the  first  command,  'Thou  shalt  have  no  other 
gods  before  me,^  explaining  the  nature  and  aggravated  sin 
of  idolatry. 

"Wednesday  I  did  little  but  weep  at  my  unhappy  hard-, 
ness  of  heart.  Read  in  the  Theological  Magazine  the  expe- 
rience of  several  eminent  Christians.  Perceived  they  had 
emotions  that  I  never  felt,  and  feared  I  never  should.  Felt 
an  earnest  desire  to  live  the  life  of  the  righteous,  but  saw  I 
did  not.  Contemplated  the  Divine  character  as  glorious  to 
those  who  could  see  with  the  heart ;  then  burst  into  tears, 
and  cried, '  Lord,  lift  upon  me  the  light  of  thy  countenance !' 

^'  Then  reflected  on  this  petition.  What  prompted  it  ? 
Not  a  desire  to  glorify  God,  for  this  never  exists  without 
love,  and  it  was  a  conviction  of  my  want  of  love  that  gave 
birth  to  the  ejaculation. 

"'Great  God  I*  then  I  cried,  'deliver  me  from  myself; 
enable  me  to  pray  from  love  to  thee.'  Alas  I  this  too  Ik 
equally  defective.    What  shall  I  do  ? 

"  Can  I  lay  aside  the  thoughts  of  preaching  ?    This  will 

make  me  no  better.    I  have  thought,  too,  I  could  do  more 

D2 


80  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

good  in  this  way.  I  know  Gk>d  has  given  me  abilities  to 
do  good,  and  know  no  other  way  than  to  persevere  in  pray- 
ing for  a  heart  rightly  to  improve  them." 

Fi'om  Hoxana. 

*<  Nutplaina,  August  18,  '98. 

<i  ♦  ♦  ♦  \^atJ  fear  more  than  all  is  my  extreme 
propensity  to  see  every  thing  in  the  most  favorable  point 
of  view,  to  clothe  every  object  in  the  brightest  colors,  to 
make  all  nature  wear  the  face  of  hope  and  joy.  At  inter- 
vals the  sonshine  is  clouded,  and  I  am  inclined  to  despond, 
feeling  so  strongly  my  unworthiness  that  it  almost  over- 
powers the  hope  which,  ever  struggling  within,  never  yet 
quite  deserted  me.    *    *    * 

^'  Sunday  my  heart  swelled  with  gratitude  as  I  joined  in 
the  thanksgivings  of  the  Church  for  innumerable  blessings; 
I  melted  with  grief  at  the  thought  of  my  own  insensibility 
and  that  of  my  fellow-mortals.  I  breathed  a  mental  prayer 
that  God  would  give  me  and  every  one  a  heart  to  adore 
and  love  the  goodness  that  showers  unceasing  blessings  on 
a  thankless  world ;  for  one  surpassing  all  others,  the  great- 
est that  the  Deity  could  bestow. 

"You, that  so  readily  find  the  defects  in  your  own  pray- 
ers, will  you  help  me  discover  the  defects  in  mine?  I  have 
a  hundred  times  prayed  the  same  prayer  with  yourself, 
without  ever  imagining  it  was  wrong.  I  am  fally  per- 
suaded of  the  truth  you  have  so  much  endeavored  to  im- 
press upon  me,  that  mankind  are  wholly  depraved.  I  have 
long  been  sensible  of  my  own  inability  to  do  right.  But  I 
never  did,  I  do  not  now  give  up  myself  as  lost.  I  feel,  I 
can  not  help  feeling  a  hope  so  strong  that  it  has  almost  the 
effect  of  a  certainty,  that,  helpless  myself,  I  shall  have  help 
from  God.     This  hope  nevei^  leaves  me.    Ought  I  to  qo- 


SABLT   COBSESPONDENCE.  81 

courage  it  or  not  ?  And  what  bad  consequences  may  arise  ? 
I  trust  to  your  friendship  to  point  out  the  danger  I  am  in. 
Spare  me  not  because  it  is  a  delicate  subject." 

JFhom  the  same. 

"Kntplains,  August  22. 

'^  Your  letter  threw  my  mind  into  a  state  of  extreme  agi- 
tation not  easily  described.  A  distressful  apprehension,  but 
not  a  full  conviction  that  I  was  an  enemy  to  God,  was  suc- 
ceeded by  intervals  of  gloom  and  an  oppressive  insensibil- 
ity. The  fiu^nlties  of  my  mind  seemed  to  have  lost  their 
strength.  I  can  not  describe  it,  but  it  seemed  as  if  all  feel- 
ing and  my  reason  itself  were  deserting  me. 

*'  I  endeavored  to  pray  as  usual,  but  utterance  was  denied 
me.  My  words  seemed  to  choke  me.  Something  seemed 
to  whisper,  *•  Wretch,  he  hears  thee  not ;  thy  prayers  will 
avail  thee  nothing.' 

'^  Saturday  night  I  could  pray ;  and  after  pouring  forth 
my  tribute  of  gratitude  and  thanksgiving  to  God  for  per- 
mitting me  again  to  approach  him  in  prayer,  the  distress 
of  my  mind  was  relieved,  and  I  have  continued  to  feel  more 
composed  since." 

To  Hoxana. 

"AngnstSl. 
"  ♦  ♦  ♦  Judge  of  my  emotions  when  I  tell  you  that 
as  face  answereth  to  face  in  a  glass,  so  do  my  feelings  to 
yours.  I  am  like  the  troubled  ocean,  continually  ebbing  and 
flowing.  The  same  round  of  hopes  and  fears,  poignant  dis- 
tress, and  every  intermediate  grade,  till  I  reach  the  situation 
you  describe,  when  4t  seems  as  if  all  feeling  and  my  reason 
itself  were  forsaking  me.'  I  feel  how  completely  destitute 
I  am  of  all  good,  but  not  the  horrid  iniquity  of  being  so. 


82  AUTOBIOOBAPHY. 

Henoe,  though  my  understanding  tells  me  I  deserve  punish- 
ment eternal,  my  heart  is  inclined  to  rise  up  against  it ;  that 
God  should  be  sovereign  in  the  distribution  of  mercy,  i.  e., 
have  mercy  on  whom  he  will,  and  whom  he  will,  harden, 
though  I  knew  it  to  be  true,  I  feel  a  kind  of  heartrrising 
against  it.  This,  while  I  feel  it,  banishes  all  hope,  *  *  * 
Rozana,  I  rejoice,  if  you  have  been  relying  on  false  hopes, 
that  God  has  been  pleased  to  excite  such  concern  as  you  ex- 
press. Let  us  both  beware  not  to  rest  short  of  an  evidence 
that  we  are  reconciled  to  God  through  Christ.  Should  your 
anxiety  be  apparent  to  the  famOy,*  and  lead  you  to  converse 
with  your  grandfather.  General  Ward,  be  eagle-eyed  that 
you  trust  to  nothing  which  is  not  built  on  rational  evidence 
of  an  interest  in  Christ.  I  can  not  conclude  without  express- 
mg  the  same  caution  with  respect  to  my  own  sentiments. 
For  worlds  I  would  not  mislead  you,  or  by  my  own  anxie- 
ties destroy  your  sweet  converse  with  God. 

''The  idea  that  you  are  a  child  of  God  and  that  I  am  need- 
lessly and  wickedly  Agitating  and  distressing  you,  fills  me 
with  anxiety.  Let  me  entreat  you  to  be  your  own  judge, 
and  if  you  have  evidence,  not  to  be  shaken  by  me. 

''  One  inquiry  I  can  not  dispense  with.  When  you  feel 
calm,  and  a  degree  of  joy,  what  does  it  arise  from?  Some- 
thing you  see  in  the  charactet  of  God  that  charms  you,  or 
something  you  see  in  yourself  that  you  think  charms  Grod  ? 

"  If  your  joy  arises  from  a  delightful  view  of  Jehovah,  that 
in  all  things  He  does  right,  and  a  sweet  resignation  of  your- 
self to  Him,  to  be  disposed  of  as  He  shiEdl  please,  although 
you  do  not  feel  a  certainty  that  you  are  safe,  this  joy  I 
should  hope  the  world- can  not  give  nor  take  awaj^. 

"  On  the  other  hand,  if  you  perceive  no  peculiar  excellence 

*  When  this  was  read  aver  to'hiin,  he  remarked,  **  They  thought  I  was 
making  her  crasy." 


EASLT  GOBBBSPONDSNCB.  83 

in  God,  but  only  what  arises  from  somehow  believing  Him 
your  Friend,  and  Benefactor  to  you  or  your  friends,  this  re- 
joicing may  consist  with  a  selfish  heart.  If  ^his  be  the  only 
foundation  of  love,  whenever  convinced  Ood  was  your  ene- 
emy,  you  would  hate  Him  on  the  same  principle  you  now 
love  Him.  *  ♦  *  That  love  to  God  which  is  built  on 
nothing  but  good  received  is  not  incompatible  with  a  dis- 
position so  horrid  as  even  to  curse  God  to  His  face.  If  God 
is  not  to  be  beloved  except  when  He  does  us  good,  then  in 
affliction  we  are  free.  If  doing  us  good  is  all  that  renders 
God  lovely  to  us,  it  ought  to  be  the  criterion  to  others,  for 
there  must  be  some  permanent  reason  why  God  is  to  be 
loved  by  all;  and  if  not  doing  us  good  divests  Him  of  His 
glory,  so  as  to  free  us  from  our  obligation  to  love,  it  equally 
frees  the  universe.  So  that,  in  effect,  the  universe  of  happi- 
ness, if  ours  be  not  included  therein,  throws  no  glory  on  its 
Author. 

*^The  sermon  on  original  sin  I  am  not  solicitous  to  have 
you  read.  If  you  read  it,  however,  trouble  yourself  about 
nothing  but  simple  fact,  viz.,  Is  there  evidence  that  mankind 
are  somehow  affected  in  consequence  of  Adam's  sin?  The 
*how'  is  of  less  consequence,  and  is,  perhaps,  beyond  our 
comprehension." 

I^homJioxana^ 

"  Nol^hdns,  September  1,  'SS. 
u  ♦  ♦  *  You  observe  of  the  feelings  I  described  that 
before  resting  on  them  you  should  inquire  whether  it  was 
the  result  merely  of  natural  susceptibility.  To  love  God  be- 
cause he  is  good  to  me,  you  seem  to  think,  is  not  a  right  kind 
of  lovcj  and  yet  every  moment  of  my  life  I  have  experieneed 
his  goodness. 

"  When  recollection  brings  back  the  past,  where  can  I 


84      .  ATJTOBIOGEAPHY. 

look  that  I  see  not  His  goodness?  What  moment  of  my 
life  presents  not  instances  of  merciful  kindness  to  me,  as 
well  as  to  evory  creature,  more  and  greater  than  I  can  ex- 
press— ^than  my  mind  is  able  to  take  in  ?  How,  then,  can  I 
help  loving  God  because  He  is  good  to  me  ?  Were  I  not  an 
object  of  God's  mercy  and  goodness,  I  can  not  have  any  con- 
ception what  would  be  my  feelings.  Imagination  never  yet 
placed  me  in  a  situation  not  to  experience  the  goodness  of 
God  in  some  way  or  other,  and  if  I  do  love  Him,  how  can  it 
be  but  because  He  is  good,  and  to  me  good  ?  Do  not  God's 
children  love  Him  because  He  first  loved  them  ? 

^^  If  I  called  nothing  goodness  which  did  not  happen  to 
suit  my  inclination,  and  could  not  believe  the  Deity  to  be 
gracious  and  merciful  but  when  the  course  of  events  was  so 
ordered  as  to  agree  with  my  humors,  so  far  from  imagining 
that  I  had  any  love  to  God,  I  must  conclude  myself  wholly 
destitute  of  any  thing  good. 

"  A  love  founded  on  nothing  but  good  received  is  not,  you 
say,  incompatible  with  a  disposition  so  horrid  as  even  to 
curse  God.  I  am  not  sensible  that  I  ever  in  my  life  imagined 
any  thing  but  good  could  come  from  the  hand  of  God. 
From  a  Being  infinite  in  goodness  every  thing  must  be  good, 
though  I  do  not  always  comprehend  how  it  is  so.  You  say, 
*  If  God  is  not  to  be  loved  except  when  he  does  us  good, 
then  in  affliction  we  are  free.'  Are  not  afflictions  good? 
Does  he  not  even  in  judgment  remember  mercy  ?  Sensible 
that  afflictions  are  but  *'  blessings  in  disguise,'  I  would  bless 
the  hand  that  with  infinite  kindfness  wounds  only  to  heal, 
and  equally  love  and  adore  the  goodness  of  God  in  suffering 
as  in  rejoicing. 

^^The  disinterested  love  to  God  which  you  think  is  alone 
the  genuine  love,  I  see  not  how  we  can  be  certdn  we  pos- 
sess, when  our  love  of  happiness  and  our  love  of  Grod  are  so 


EABLT  COBSBSPOKDSNCX.  85 

inseparably  connected.  You  say  oar  happiness  should  be 
the  effect,  not  the  cause  of  our  love  to  God ;  but,  if  I  can  not 
certainly  determine  that  I  love  God  independently  of  my 
own  happiness,  which  I  can  not,  must  I  determine  that  I  do 
not  love  him  at  all  ? 

"  *  *  ♦  You  ask.  When  I  fed  a  degree  of  joy,  wheth- 
er it  arises  from  any  thing  I  perceive  in  the  character  of  God 
that  charms  me,  or^from  any  thing  I  perceive  in  myself  that 
I  think  will  charm  God  ? 

*^I  think  the  former.  I  am  not  conscious  of  having  ever 
felt  a  joy  arising  from  the  latter  source,  though  I  do  not 
know  that  I  have  examined  so  accurately  as  to  be  able  to 
determine  with  certainty.  In  contemplating  the  character 
of  God,  his  mercy  and  goodness  are  most  present  to  my 
mind,  and,  as  it  were,  swallow  up  his  other  attributes.  The 
overflowing  goodness  that  has  created  multitudes  of  beings, 
that  he  might  communicate  to  them  a  part  of  his  happiness, 
and  which '  openeth  his  hand  andfiUeth  all  things  with  plen- 
teousness,'  I  can  contemplate  with  delight,  though,  among 
the  multitudes  who  experience  his  bountiful  kindness,  that  I 
am  one,  may  perhaps  be  the  sole  cause  of  my  joy.  The  joy 
that  arises  from  the  consideration  that  God  is  a  benefactor 
to  me  and  my  friends  (when  I  think  of  God,  every  creature 
is  my  friend),  if  arising  from  a  selfish  motive,  does  not  ap- 
pear to  me  possible  to  be  changed  into  hate,  even  supposing 
God  my  enemy,  while  I  considered  him  as  God,  as  a  being 
infinitely  just  as  well  as  good.  If  God  is  my  enemy,  it  must 
be  because  I  deserve  he  should  be  such,  and  it  does  not  seem 
to  me  possible  that  I  should  hate  him,  even  if  I  knew  he 
would  be  always  so. 

^^  You  complain  that  your  heart  is  inclined  to  rise  at  the 
idea  of  suffering  eternal  punishment.  I  do  not  know  as  I 
understand  what  this  feeling  is. 


86  AUTOBIOGSIPHT. 

*^Is  it  wickedness  in  me  that  I  do  not  feel  a  willingness 
to  be  left  to  go  on  in  sin?  Can  any  one  joyfully  acquiesce 
in  being  thus  left  ?  I  can  joyfully  acquiesce  that  God  should 
be  a  sovereign  in  the  disposal  of  mercy,  if  he  will  have  mer- 
cy apon  me;  but  when  I  pray  for  a  new  heart  and  a  right 
spirit,  must  I  be  willing  to  be  denied,  and  rejoice  that  my 
prayer  is  not  heard  ?  Could  any  real  Christian  rejoice  if 
Ood  should  take  from  him  the  mercy  bestowed?  But  he 
fears  it  not ;  he  knows  it  never  will  be ;  he  therefore  can 
cheerfully  acquiesce;  so  could  I.  But  is  it  possible  that  in 
my  situation,  when  I  pray  with  agonizing  importunity  that 
God  will  have  mercy  upon  me,  I  can  yet  be  willing  that  my 
prayer  should  be  rejected  ? 

"  *  *  *  I  can  not  now  describe  what  have  been  my 
feelings  before,  but  on  Sunday  night  I  experienced  emotions 
which  I  can  find  no  language  to  describe.  I  seemed  carried 
to  heaven,  and  thought  that  neither  height,  nor  depth,  nor 
things  present,  nor  things  to  come,  should  be  able  to  sepsr 
rate  me  from  the  love  of  God  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus.  Tet, 
if  I  feel  a  degree  of  joy,  I  fear  to  indulge  it,  and  tremble  at 
every  emotion  of  pleasure.  Last  evening  I  was  almost  in 
heaven,  but  sunk  to  earth  again  by  fears  that  I  should  rejoice 
without  cause ;  but  when  I  prayed  my  fears  seemed  to  re- 
move."* 

7b  Soxana, 

"September  2, '*98. 

**  Since  August  12  felt  an  nncommon  difficulty  in  secret 
prayer.  Could  not  pray  except  formally,  not  even  when 
greatly  distressed,  particularly  the  last  week.  At  times 
resolved  to  call  on  the  President,  lay  open  my  case,  and, 

*  Upon  this  letter  is  indoned,  in  a  tremulous  hand,  *'Bozaiu^  beloved 
still,  this  Dec  5, 1864.    Ltxan  Bbechbb." 


BARLT  COBRBSFONDENCB.  87 

unlesd  adrised  to  the  contrary,  abstain  from  the  sacra- 
ment ;  yet  feared  to,  and  feared  that  my  on  willingness  arose 
more  from  selfish  than  any  other  motives.  But  I  did  not, 
and  the  latter  part  of  the  week  experienced  at  times'^  some 
enlargement  in  prayer.  This  morning  attended  meeting. 
Qod  enabled  me  to  hear  with  uncommon  pleasure.  Felt 
considerable  life  at  the  communion-table,  though  so  little  as 
to  give  cause  for  alarm  rather  than  rejoicing.  *  *  *  Went 
to  West  Haven  with  Herrick,  Fenn,  Chapman,  Fitch,  and 
my  brother.  Spoke  on  the  blessedness  of  the  righteous  and 
woes  of  the  wicked. 

*^Much  perplexed  with  the  pride  I  found  lurking  in  my 
heart.  Man  was  made  to  deserve,  but  not  to  receive  the 
applause  of  men.  Give  God  the  glory  is  the  rule,  while 
self  lies  humble  in  the  dust,  rejoicing  to  be  hid  that  God 
may  appear.  Oh  how  horrid  to  enter  a  pulpit  prompted  by 
desire  of  applause !  How  does  our  own  fame  dwindle  into 
nothing  when  employed  to  snatch  immortal  souls  as  brands 
from  everlasting  burning ! 

"  On  returning,  experienced  on  my  bed  I  know  not  what. 
My  thoughts  seemed  to  go  out  after  God,  and  though  I  had 
no  distinct  views  of  him,  yet  to  think  of  him  seemed  to  give 
pleasure.  Was  enabled  to  pray  with  ease  and  peculiar  de- 
light. Felt  a  strong  desire  that  my  sister  and  Roxana 
should  know  and  glorify  God.  It  seemed,  my  friend,  that 
to  live  with  you,  and  be  enabled  mutually  to  know  and 
praise  God,  would  make  earth  a  paradise.  For  a  few  mo- 
ments, while  thinking  on  Christ,  I  experienced  an  inexpressi- 
ble sweetness,  a  kind  of  trembling,  thrilling  pleasure  around 
my  heart,  which  seemed  not  to  be  wholly  sensitive,  and  yet 
partly  so,  bringing  to  mind  the  expression  *the  love  of  God 
shed  abroad  in  the-heart.' " 


88  ▲UTOmOORAPHT. 

There  were  some  things  about  your  mother's  religions 
character  peculiar,  and  very  satisfactory  in  the  retrospect. 
She  thought  herself  converted  when  five  or  six  years  old. 
She  couid  scarcely  remember  the  time  but  that,  in  all  her 
childish  joys  and  sorrows,  she  went  to  Gk>d  in  prayer.  She 
experienced  resignation,  if  any  one  ever  did.  I  never  saw 
the  like — so  entire,  without  reservation  or  shadow  of  turn- 
ing. In  no  exigency  was  she  taken  by  surprise.  She  was 
just  there,  quiet  as  an  angel  above.  I  never  heard  a  mur- 
mur ;  and  if  ever  there  was  a  perfect  mind  as  respects  sub- 
.  mission,  it  was  hers.  I  never  witnessed  a  movement  of  the 
least  degree  of  selfishness ;  and  if  there  ever  was  any  such 
thing  in  the  world  as  disinterestedness,  she  had  it. 


COMMBNGXMEliT   OF  lONISTBT.  89 


CHAPTER  XV. 

COMMENCEMKNT  OF  MINISTBY. 

Ons  day,  somewhere  in  August,  as  I  was  going  over  to 
Guilford  on  a  visit,  I  stopped  at  a  halfway  house  to  dinner. 
Taking  up  a  newspaper,  I  saw  the  notice  of  Dr.  BuelPs 
death,  at  East  Hampton,  July  19,  1798.  I  had  heard  of 
him  frequently.  Uncle  Lot  had  been  over  and  heard  him 
preach,  and  told  how  in  times  of  revival  he  would  leave  the 
pulpit,  and  go  even  to  the  galleries,  to  talk  to  the  awakened. 

When  my  eye  fell  on  the  obituary  notice,  I  thought  to 
myself,  "  Well,  they'll  want  a  minister  there  now,  but,  at 
any  rate,  they  will  not  have  me.  There's  Tutor  Davis — all 
his  friends  live  over  there;  he  may  perhaps  go  and  tak^ 
care  of  them,  but  it  is  not  likely  I  shall.'' 

But  it  was  not  three  weeks  afler  that  before  I  was  en- 
gaged to  go  there.  Tutor  Davis  had  been  there  on  a  visit, 
and  told  me  on  his  return  that  many  were  skeptical;  that 
there  was  a  candidate  preaching  there  whom  the  young 
people  did  not  like,  and  they  had  said  to  him,  ^^  Davis,  we 
want  you  to  get  a  man  that  can  stand  his  ground  in  argu- 
ment, and  break  the  heads  of  these  infidels."  So  he  had  me 
engaged.  You  see  I  had  no  plan.  It  was  unexpected  en- 
tirely. I  felt  as  if  it  were  ordered  for  me  by  Providence.  I 
had  so  little  idea  or  anticipation  of  the  future  that,  before 
being  licensed,  I  was  troubled  for  fear  I  should  not  find  a 
place  to  preach.  There  were  four  of  us  examined  together 
for  license,  and  I  thought  there  were  so  many  of  us  it  would 
be  hard  to  find  places.  Niles  was  invited  to  Durham ;  Hart 
somewhere  else ;  but  no  place  for  me.    So,  when  Davis 


90  AUTOBIOaBAPHT. 

spoke,  I  remembered  what  I  had  thought  when  I  saw  the 
obituary,  and  found  I  was  mistaken  that  time. 

I  remember  the  day  when  we  all  walked  over  together 
from  New  Haven  to  what  is  now  called  Naugatuck,  to  an 
old  parsonage  up  among  the  hills. 

There  the  West  Haven  Association  held  their  meeting, 
and  we  were  examined. 

After  being  licensed  I  went  to  Old  Guilford,  and  preached 
my  first  regular  sermon  there.  Uncle  Lot,  Aunt  Benton, 
Roxana,  and  all  my  friends  and  acquaintances  were  there. 
The  text  was,  "And  where  is  now  my  hope  ?" 
.  The  object  was  to  distinguish  between  the  true  ground 
of  Christian  confidence  and  various  false  grounds,  such  as 
infidelity,  chance,  procrastination,  good  works,  spurious  love 
to  God,  and  the  like. 

I  afterward  preached  it  at  Gilead  and  at  East  Hampton, 
where,  by  special  request,  it  was  a  second  time  repeated. 

It  was  a  thorough-going  thing,  and  shows  how  far  I  had 
gone,  and  how  I  began. 

JBkctract  from  first  Sermon. 

"  Persons  whose  hope  is  based  on  a  spurious  emotion  of 
love  to  God  are  usually  those  who  have  never  been  brought 
to  see  their  sinful,  lost  estate,  nor  to  see  God,  except  in  the 
character  of  Merciful.  Thus,  as  they  never  considered  God 
as  feeling  very  angry  with  them,  they  never  felt  much  oppo- 
sition of  heart  to  him ;  as  they  always  conceived  of  him  as 
long-suffering,  abundant  in  mercy,  forgiving,  and  forgiving 
to  them^  so  they  always  felt  a  kind  of  natural  gratitude  to 
him.  This  feeling  they  call  love.  Of  course,  as  they  love 
God,  they  believe  on  this  account,  as  well  as  on  account  of 
his  mercy,  that  God  loves  them,  for  Gorl  ban  declared  that 
he  loves  those  that  love  him.    «<««<< 


COMMJBSCXMXST  OF  lONIdTBT.  91 

^^The  Christian,  my  brethren,  ondoabtedly  feels  as  mnoh 
gratitude  for  God's  goodness  to  him  as  the  sinner ;  nay, 
more.  But  common  sense,  as  well  as  God's  Word,  teaches 
that  if  this  be  the  only  or  chief  source  of  love,  he  can  not  be 
a  true  disciple  of  Christ,  for  he  that  hath  not  the  spirit  of 
Christ  is  none  of  his.  But  had  Christ  no  love  to  God  but 
that  of  gratitude  ?  A  love  for  good  received  ?  Think  yon, 
my  hearers,  in  his  agony  in  the  garden  *  *  *  *  he  saw 
nothing  in  the  Father  excellent,  amiable,  lovely?  Noth- 
ing that  made  him  desire  his  will  should  be  done,  except 
that  somehow  it  would  promote  his  own  good  ?  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦ 
Beyond  all  doubt  Christ  loved  God  on  account  of  the  essen- 
tial perfections  of  his  nature,  because  he  had  been  with  him 
from  eternity,  knew  all  his  counsels  and  designs,  knew  him 
to  be  great,  holy,  glorious,  and  in  all  respects  lovely.'' 

Diary, 

^*' Thursday^  Nov,  1.  Set  out  from  Middlefield  for  GUead 
at  ten  A.M.  Snowed  most  of  the  way.  Arrived  just  after 
dark  at  Colonel  Gilbert's.  Friday,  began  and  spent  the  day 
in  writing  a  sermon,  and  Saturday,  finished  it. 

^^  Sunday  J  Nov,  4.  Preached  for  the  second  time  at  Gil- 
ead;  felt  not  much  intimidated;  had  more  freedom  than 
feeling  in  prayer.  Afternoon,  forgot  to  mention  several 
cases,  yet  prayed  for  them  without  confusion.  Read  proc- 
lamation before  sermon.  Sung  before  prayer,  by  mistake; 
felt  something  disconcerted  and  chagrined,  though  not  per- 
ceptible ;  performed,  on  the  whole,  with  more  decency  than 
order. 

^^J?Hdayt  0.  Wrote  some,  and  some  of  the  day  did  noth- 
ing. Felt  unwell ;  fatigued  myself  by  too  violent  exercise 
after  a  squirrel. 

^^  Wednesday,  14.  Ordination  at  Goshen.    Called  on  M^" 


92  AXJT0BI06BAPHT. 

Bassett,and  rode  with  him.  Thursday,  home ;  stopped  at 
Mr.  R.'s ;  purchased  Cann's  Bible,  4«.  6d. 

^^ Monday y  IS.  Set  out  for  Middlefi^eld.  Rode  all  day  in 
the  rain.  Called  on  friend  Collins.  Arrived  at  my  uncle 
Lyman's  just  before  dark. 

^^TuesdayylQ.  Stormy.  Bode  into  Durham — called  on 
NUes ;  then  to  North  Guilford — called  on  Baldwin ;  then  to 
Nutplains — called  on  Roxana;  staid  all  night.  Next  day, 
afternoon,  rode  into  town. 

"  Thursday y  20.  Went  to  New  Haven,  and  in  the  evening 
to  West  Haven.  Friday,  went  to  Nutplains  and  spent  the 
evening. 

^*' Mondayy2b,  B.,  N.,  and  F.  visited  at  Uncle  Benton's. 
Evening,  rode  with  them  to  Nutplains ;  staid  till  nine,  and 
returned. 

^^  Tuesday y  26.  At  half  past  four,  got  up ;  set  out  for  New 
London;  arrived  at  sunset;  put  up  at  Captain  Frink's;  en- 
gaged a  passage  to  East  Hampton. 

^^  Thursday y  28.  Thanksgiving.  At  ten  o'clock  set  sail 
for  East  Hampton." 

It  was  a  bright,  mild,  pleasant  day  when  I  went  down  to 
the  wharf  at  New  London  to  secure  a  passage.  A  gentle- 
man stepped  up  to  me  with  a  smile,  saying,  *^  This,  I  hope,  is 
Mr.Beecher?"  I  told  him  it  was,  and  he  replied,^'!  am 
very  glad.  I  am  from  East  Hampton,  and  am  going  over, 
and  will  take  you  under  my  care."  It  was  Mr.  Mulford, 
ever  after  a  warm  personal  friend. 

I  had  but  little  to  carry.  I  owned  a  horse,  with  saddle 
and  bridle.  All  my  clothes  and  personal  effects  I  had  packed 
in  a  little  white  hair  trunk,  which  I  had  brought  with  me  on 
the  pommel  of  my  saddle. 

So  I  set  out  for  my  parish  across  the  water,  and  I  can  say, 


COMMSNCEHXNT  OF  lONISTBT.  93 

like  Jacob  of  old,  ^'I  am  not  worthy  of  the  heast  of  all  the 
mercies,  and  of  all  the  truth  which  Thou  hast  showed  Thy 
servant ;  for  with  my  staff  I  passed  over  this  Jordan,  and 
now  I  am  become  two  bands.''* 

*  Genesis,  xzzii.,  10.    A  very  faVorite  passage. in  later  yean. 


AirrOBI0GB.U>BT. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

EAST  BAHFTOIf. 


Wb  interrapt  the  DarratiTe  at  this  point  for  the  pnrpose 
of  inserting  a  few  particulars  respecting  the  parish  of  East 
Hampton,  which  may  be  of  interest  to  the  reader,  and  en- 
able him  more  readily  to  imderstand  what  follows. 

Long  Island,  near  the  Bontheastem  extremity  of  which 
East  Hampton  is  sitoated,  was  first  visited  by  the  whites, 
nnder  Hadson,  eleyen  years  before  the  arrival  of  the  May- 
flower Pilgrims  at  Plymouth. 


EAST  HUIFTON.  95 

They  found  an  interminable  beach  of  snowy  sand,  on 
which  the  ocean  never  ceased  to  beat  in  sparkling  foam ; 
dark  forests,  overgrown  with  tangled  vines ;  wild-fowl  in 
countless  flocks ;  and  throngs  of  admiring  and  astonished 
savages. 

Thirteen  tribes,  united  in  a  confederacy  under  one  grand 
sachem,  occupied  the  soil  of  the  Isle  of  Shells.* 

Of  these,  the  royal  tribe  occupied  the  site  of  East  Hamp- 
ton, and  their  chief,  Wyandanck,  the  grand  sachem,  resided 
on  the  promontory  which  still  bears  the  name  of  the  tribe, 
Montauk. 

There  may  still  be  seen  the  remains  of  Kongkonganock, 
the  citadel  of  the  sachem,  with  traces  of  other  fortifications, 
and  the  remsdns  of  ancient  Indian  burial-places. 

For  a  hundred  years  these  wild  tribes  resisted  such  ef- 
forts as  were  made  for  their  evangelization,  and  yielded, 
alas !  only  to  those  which  tended  to  degrade  and  to  destroy. 
But  when  the  whole  of  the  original  thirteen  tribes  had 
dwindled  to  four  hundred  souls,  the  labors  of  the  fidthful 
missionary,  Horton,  and  of  successive  native  teachers,  were 
blessed  in  the  conversion  of  many. 

At  the  time  of  this  narrative,  this  singular  remnant,  de- 
spised, abused,  degraded,  and  yet,  to  some  extent,  evange- 
lized, residing  on  their  reserved  lands,  and  living  by  whaling 
and  the  petty  trade  of  broom  and  basket  making,  consti- 
tuted a  portion  of  the  parish  not  the  least  interesting  to  a 
pastor's  heart. 

The  oArtraveled  road  to  Montauk  Point,  along  the  white 
sand-beach  of  Napaug,  was  one  of  the  wildest  in  Nature, 
and  one  well  calculated  to  leave  lasting  impressions  upon  a 

*  So  named  by  the  natires  from  the  abandanoe  of  the  white  shell  m ed 
in  the  mannfactme  of  wampnm,  for  the  production  of  which  this  iilaad 

was  celebrated,  as  is  still  attested  by  vast  heaps  of  broken  shells. 

E 


96  ATTTOBIOGBAPHY. 

mind  always  susceptible  to  the  grand  and  the  sublime  even 
more  than  to  the  beautiful. 

On  the  north  of  the  road  are  wild  highlands,  firom  which 
the  ancient  forests  have  disappeared,  and  which  are  now 
covered  with  bushes  of  the  beach-plum*  and  other  shrubs. 

Along  the  shore  are  rugged  cli^  at  whose  base  the  surf 
beats  with  uncommon  violence,  the  sweep  of  the  ocean  be- 
ing unbroken,  and  a  calm  being  very  rare.  . 
-  The  view,  as  one  rides  along  this  solitary  shore,  is  unim- 
peded over  the  land  and  far  out  upon  the  Atlantic. 

Another  part  of  the  parish,  and  the  earliest  settled,  was 
Gardiner's  Island,  separated  from  the  rest  of  the  town  by  a 
bay  of  three  or  four  miles  in  width. 

It  was  named  from  the  first  proprietor,  Lyon  Oardiner, 
the  engineer  who  built  Saybrook  fort. 

His  descendants  have  continued  to  hold  it  to  the  present 
time,  and  have  usually  been  of  leading  influence  in  the  par- 
ish, and  have  borne  the  soubriquet  of  Lord  Gardiner. 

At  the  time  of  this  narrative  the  estate  was  owned  by 
the  seventh  of  the  series,  a  man  of  education  and  refine- 
ment, and  celebrated  for  his  fondness  for  antiquarian  re- 
search. 

His  society  would  naturally  be  attractive  to  a  youthful 
minister,  and  accordingly  the  island,  with  its  large  and  hos- 
pitable mansion,  was  ever  one  of  his  favorite  visiting-places ; 
and  during  his  East  Hampton  ministry,  no  sermon  was 
ever  thought  finally  ready  for  the  press  till  it  had  been  sub- 
mitted to  the  inspection  of  his  friend,  John  Lyon  Gardiner. 

Besides  these  outmost  portions,  the  parish  of  East  Hamp- 
ton embraced  several  small  villages,  at  which  meetings 
were  held  firom  time  to  time  on  week-days.  ^ 

On  the  east  was  Amaghansett ;  on  the  north,  Accom- 

*  A  pnrpie  frait  like  a  damson. 


BAST  HAMPTON.  97 

bomock.  Three-mile  Harbor,  The  Springfi^  and  Ftr^pUuifi^  qq 
the  west  was  WayuDscutt,  or  Wainscott.  To  these  is  to  be 
added  a  settlement  of  free  blacks,  called  Freetown,  at  a  lit- 
tle distance  from  the  centre  of  the  place. 

The  main  street  of  East  Hampton  is  part  of  the  main 
highway,  on  the  southern  branch  of  the  island,  of  which  it 
has  been  remarked  that  one  '^  would  imagine  that  the  pro- 
jectors of  such  a  road  supposed  themselves  possessed  of  a 
continent,  a  large  portion  of  which  they  would  never  need 
to  cultivate,"  it  being  from  ten  to  sixteen  rods  in  width. 

At  the  time  of  this  narrative  the  town  consisted  of  the 
plainest  farm-houses,  standing  directly  on  the  street,  with 
the  wood-pile  by  the  front  door,  and  the  bam  close  by,  also 
standing  on  the  street.  A  windmill  stood,  and  still  stands, 
at  each  end  of  the  street. 

There  was  so  little  traveling  that  the  road  consisted  of 
two  ruts  worn  through  the  green  turf  for  the  wheels,  and 
two  narrow  paths  for  the  horses.  The  wide  green  street 
was  generally  covered  with  flocks  of  white  geese. 

The  only  trees  in  the  place  were  a  line  of  poplars  between 
two  of  the  principal  residences,  and  a  large  elm,  standing  at 
an  enormous  height,  which  had  been  trimmed  up  to  a  head, 
and  was  a  conspicuous  waymark  for  miles  around. 

On  Sundays,  all  the  families  from  the  tillages  above-men- 
tioned came  riding  to  meeting  in  great  two-horse,  uncover- 
ed wagons,  with  three  seats,  carrying  nine  persons.  It  is 
probable  that  more  than  half  the  inhabitants  of  those  re- 
tired villages  made  no  other  journey  during  their  whole 
lives. 

The  first  meeting-house  was  finished  in  1650.  The  pres- 
ent edifice,  represented  in  the  vignette,  was  built  in  1717, 
and  was  at  the  time  the  largest  and  most  splendid  church 
edifice  on  the  island.    It  was  provided  with  a  bell  and  dock 


98 


AUTOBIOGBAPUT. 


now  ^  '^omiMVy  and  a  quarter  old.  In  process  of  time  a  sec- 
ond gallery  was  added,  as  the  congregation  increased,  thus 
presenting,  at  the  time  of  this  narrative,  the  singular  feature 
of  two  galleries  around  three  sides  of  the  house.  Since  that 
day,  however,  the  interior  has  been  rebuilt  in  more  modem 
style.  It  is  now  the  oldest  house  on  the  island^  and  bids 
fidr  to  last  for  a  century  to  come. 


PREACHING  AS  A  CANDIDATE.  90 


CHAPTER  XVn. 

FBEACHINa  AS  A   CANDIDATE. 

East  Hakpton  was  originally  settled  by  the  best  sort  of 
men,  and  had  never  been  divided  in  religion.  There  was 
only  one  church  in  the  place,  over  which  three  successive 
pastors  had  been  settled  during  a  period  of  a  century  and 
a  half. 

The  first  minister  was  Rev.  Mr.  James,  the  terms  of  whose 
support  were  forty-five  pounds  annuallyf  lands  rate  free, 
grain  to  be  first  ground  at  the  mill  every  Monday,  and  one 
fourth  of  the  whales  stranded  on  the  beach. 

That  is  the  only  case  I  ever  knew  of  a  minister's  being 
paid  in  whales. 

At  this  day  it  would  not  be  much  of  an  addition  to  a  man's 
income,  but  in  those  days  it  might.  It  is  seldom  now  that 
a  whale  is  seen,  comparatively;  but  as  late  as  about  1700  it 
is  said  that  a  woman,  named  Abigail  Baker,  in  riding  from 
East  Hampton  to  Bridgehampton,  saw  thirteen  whales  along 
the  shore  between  the  two  places. 

The  second  minister  was  Rev.  Mr.  Hunting,  whose  grand- 
father was  a  relative  of  John  Rogers,  who  was  burned  at 
Smithfield,  as  you  see  in  the  old-fashioned  New  England 
Primer. 

The  third  was  Dr.  Buell,  a  man  of  remarkable  qualities — 
sound  judgment,  vivid  imagination,  glowing  piety,  liberal 
education,  and  in  theology  an  admirer  of  Edwards.  He  pos- 
sessed a  commanding  voice,  penetrating  eye,  and  unwearied 
zeal  for  the  Master's  work.  ' 

*  After  the  first  jear  he  receired  ^50,  nnd  sobseqnciitly  X60. 


lOO  AUTOBIOGBATHY. 

« 

The  Church  had  been  blessed  with  powerful  revivals. 
The  first  was  in  1741,  under  the  preaching  of  Davenpoit, 
who  did  some  good  and  some  harm.  Under  Dr.  Buell  there 
were  four  revivals,  some  of  them  of  remarkable  power. 
Still,  infidelity  had  gained  a  foothold ;  an  infidel  club  had 
been  organized — ^not  very  large  in  point  of  numbers,  but 
composed  of  men  of  talent,  education,  and  indefatigable 
zeal. 

A  small  knot  of  such  men,  even  though  they  may  not  gain 
many  open  adherents,  may  sometimes  poison  the  minds  of  a 
whole  generation  of  young  people,  inoculating  them  with 
bad  ideas;  and  so,  to  some  extent,  it  had  been  here.  As  a 
specimen  of  their  spirit,  it  is  said  that  in  one  of  their  meet- 
ings a  Bible  was  burned  to  ashes. 

C.  "  Father,  how,  after  so  many  revivals,  could  infidelity 
come  in  there?" 

It  was  the  age  of  French  infidelity.  There  was  a  leaven 
of  skepticism  all  over  the  world.  As  to  the  particular  man- 
ner, it  came  in  through  the  Academy.  The  people  of  East 
Hampton  had  from  the  beginning  made  liberal  provision  for 
education.  And  although  the  War  of  the  Revolution  had 
borne  with  great  severity  upon  Long  Island,  which  was  so 
long  in  possession  of  the  British,  yet  in  1785  Dr.  Buell  had 
the  spirit  and  the  influence  to  secure  the  building  of  Clinton 
Academy,  the  first  ever  chartered  by  the  Regents  of  the 
University. 

'  Now  it  so  happened  that  two  of  the  teachers  employed 
proved  to  be  skeptical,  and  before  Dr.  Buell  found  it  out  the 
evil  was  done.  It  gave  him  great  anxiety.  He  greatly  fear- 
ed that  it  would  be  impossible  to  settle  an  orthodox  minis- 
ter after  his  death.  And,  in  fact,  when  I  went  there,  the 
question  was,  Revivals  or  Infidelity. 

I  did  not  attack  infidelity  directly.    Not  at  all.    That 


PRSACHINQ  AS  A  CANDIDATE.  101 

would  have  been  crackmg  a  whip  behind  a  mnaway  team 
— madp  them  run  the  faster.  I  always  preached  right  to 
the  conscience.  Every  sermon  with  my  eye  on  the  gun 
to  hit  somebody.  Went  through  the  doctrines;  showed 
what  they  didn't  mean ;  what  they  did ;  then  the  argument ; 
knocked  away  objections,  and  drove  home  on  the  conscience. 
They  couldn't  get  up  their  prejudices,  because  I  had  got 
them  away.  At  first  there  was  winking  and  blinking  from 
below  to  gallery,  forty  or  fifty  exchanging  glances,  smiling, 
and  watching.  But  when  that  was  over,  infidelity  was  end- 
ed, for  it  was  infidelity,  for  the  most  part,  that  had  its  roots 
in  misunderstanding. 


To  Boxana. 

"February  1/99. 

*'  As  to  the  state  of  things  here,  I  will  give  you  a  little 
sketch.  Before  I  came  an  attempt  had  been  made  to  settle 
a  Mr.  K ,  whom  Dr.  Bnell,  before  his  death,  recommend- 
ed. All  the  Church,  except  one,  united  in  him,  and  many 
of  the  sober  people.  The  young  people  almost  unanimous 
against  him.  They  meet.  Both  sides  very  warm.  The 
minority  too  strong  to  be  opposed ;  the  majority  too  san- 
guine to  yield.  Finally  it  is  agreed  to  hear  another  man, 
and  in  this  state  of  things  Mr.  Beecher  comes.  On  either 
side  the  combatants  recoil,  suspend  their  strife  to  gaze  at 
Mr.  B.  The  young  people  conclude  that  I  must  be  a  pretty 
*'  starchy"  chap.  Every  Sabbath  has  been  stormy,  so  that 
few  have  heard  me.  So  I  lectured  and  visited,  and  visited 
and  lectured,  and  was  nicknamed  the  snow*bird  for  fiying 
about  so  in  the  snow-storms.  All  went  on  cleverly  till  a 
week  ago  I  heard  that  the  following  things  were  circula- 
ting: 

" '  Mr.  B.  went  on  Christmas  and  dined  with  Dr.  Q ^  a 


102  '  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

Deist.  In  the  evening  he  took  tea  at  Captain  Isaacs^  and 
heard  Miss  Esther  Hand  sing  songs,  and  asked  hereto  sing 
all  she  knew.  On  such  an  evening  Mr.  B.  and  Mr.  Hutcli- 
inson  sang  songs  together ;  and  Mr.  B.  has  lowered  his  char- 
acter twenty-five  per  cent,  hj  going  a  hunting  with  Dr. 
H J  also  a  Deist.' 

^'  I  don't  snppose  any  one  meant  to  injure  me ;  but  I  stood 
between  them  and  their  object,  and  thus  my  every  motion 

was  eyed  and  every  item  circulated.    Now  Mr.  K 's 

friends  are  numerous  and  violent ;  and,  though  they  may  not 
aim  to  injure  my  character,  they  will  do  it  as  certainly  as  if 
they  did.  I  am  young ;  my  character  as  a  minister  is  form- 
ing. I  need  the  candor  and  friendly  aid  of  Christians.  I 
need  them  disposed  to  cover  with  a  veil  of  charity  youthful 
inadvertence,  instead  of  magnifying  it  to  a  crime. 

*^  Shall  I,  then,  subject  .myself  to  such  a  scrutiny  ?  Shall 
I  hold  up  my  character  to  the  dagger,  that,  in  piercing  that, 
religion  may  be  wounded  also  ? 

^'  I  think  not.    They  must  settle  the  dispute  about  Mr. 

K first ;  till  then  no  man  can  unite  them.    They  don't 

want  to  be  pleased  that  this  may  be  effected ;  therefore, 
after  staying  long  enough  to  convince  them  I  do  not  run 
away,  I  will  abscond. 

*' These  intentions  and  reasons  I  made  public.  This 
created  alarm.  Those  friendly  labored  to  convince  me  that 
by  spring  all  will  be  xmited.  This  may  or  may  not  be.  In 
a*divided  people  it  is  impossible  to  gain  accurate  informa- 
tion. However,  my  fears  are  so  far  removed  that  I  engaged 
for  four  Sabbaths,  and  five  more  should  all  be  well.  The 
people  I  like  very  well,  though  not  attached.  Let  nothing 
leave  the  impression  on  your  mind  that  there  is  much  prob- 
ability of  my  settling.  It  is  not  impossible ;  but  as  to  prob- 
ability, my  judgment  is  suspended. 


FBSACHIKa  AS  A  CAJBTDIDATB.  103 

"Have  almost  completed  a  sermon  on  ^Oome  nnto  mc, 
all  ye  that  labor,'  etc.,  in  which  I  have  made  some  efforts  to 
gratify  the  popular  taste ;  for,  to  tell  the  truth,  I  think  the 
popular  taste  here  to  be  in  a  considerable  degree  right.  As 
a  counterpart,  shall  write  on  *Te  will  not  come  unto  me, 
that  ye  might  have  life.* " 

To  the  same. 

•TebmaiyO,  *99. 
"  Tour  grandfather's  death  surprised  and  affected  me  ex- 
tremely. Was  writing  a  sermon  just  before,  and  thought, 
^This  would  please  General  Ward.'  But  he  is  gone,  good 
man,  and  now  knows  more  about  truth  than  all  the  human 
race.    I  never  knew  my  tenderness  for  him  till  now." 

To  the  same. 

"Febmaiy  10/99. 

"My  preaching  seems  not  to  move.  I  speak  against  a 
rock.  The  people  continue  to  watch  "me  as  narrowly  as  a 
mouse  is  watched  by  a  cat,  and  I  continue  to  mind  my  bus- 
iness. There  are  some  who  would  be  glad  to  lay  hold  of 
some  fault ;  but,  if  God  enable,  I  shall  keep  clear.  If  I  would 
baptize  all  the  children,  as  Dr.Buell  used  to  do,  I  could  unite 
them;  but  that,  you  know,  I  can  not.* 

*  One  point  on  which  the  Pnritans  difTered  from  the  English  Chnrch 
was  in  confining  baptism  to  believers  and  their  seed.  Infant  baptism, 
however,  without  snbseqnent  profession  of  faith,  did  not  entitle  to  full 
privileges  of  Chnrch  membership,  among  which,  for  a  time,  in  Massachn- 
setts  and  the  New  Haven  Colony,  was  included  the  right  of  snfirage.  In 
process  of  time,  as  the  nnmber  thus  deprived  of  Chnrch  privileges  in- 
creased, a  rush  was  made  at  the  door  of  the  Chnrch.  A  modified  Cove- 
nant was  adopted,  assent  to  which  bestowed  all  rights  of  Church  member- 
ship except  the  Lord's  Supper.  This  half-way  Covenant,  strongly  opposed 
by  the  majority  of  Churches  from  the  beginning,  was  ably  assailed  ^- 
Frcsident  Edwards,  after  whose  day  it  gradually  fell  into  disuse. 

£2 


104  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

^*  On  some  accounts  I  should  prefer  such  a  place  as  this. 
There  are  more  Christians.  No  sectarians ;  I  believe  not 
one.  Comparatively  few  infidels.  The  people  are  peace- 
able. Not  a  lawyer  in  the  whole  county.  Industrious,  hos- 
pitable ;  in  the  habit  of  being  influenced  by  their  miaister. 

^'  But  why  should  I,  who  am  not  my  own,  choose  ?  Let 
Christ  choose  for  me.  I  would  give  more  for  a  heart  re- 
signed to  his  will  than  for  all  the  s'ettlements  on  earth.'' 

To  the  same, 

"February  21, '99. 

"My  forenoon's  extempore  discourse  was  by  many  liked 
better  than  any  I  have  preached.  There  was  warmth  in  it ; 
some  flowing,  high  expressions.  Indeed,  I  suppose  what  I 
call  exceptionable  parts  were  most  admired. 

"  This  week,  at  times,  have  hoped  that  I  felt  something  of 
the  power  of  religion  on  my  heart." 

To  tJu  same. 

"  SatorcUy,  Febrnary  23,  '99. 

"  Wrote  on  Matthew,  v.,  20 :  *•  Except  your  righteousness 
exceed  the  righteousness  of  the  Scribes  and  Phaiisecs,  ye 
shall  in  no  case  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  Heaven.'  K 
Ood  enable  me,  shall  speak  very  plainly.  Plainness,  my 
friend,  must  be  used.  Every  thing  is  at  stake.  Immortal 
souls  are  sleeping  on  the  brink  of  hell.  Time  is  on  the 
wing.  A  few  days  will  flx  their  eternal  state.  Shall  I 
hide  the  truth  ?  neglect  the  heart,  labor  to  please  the  ear 
with  smooth  periods,  and  be  the  siren  song  to  lure  them 
down  to  hell  ? 

"  O  my  God  I  my  God !  open  thou  mine  eyes  to  see  the 
importance  of  immortal  souls,  and  open  thou  my  lips  to  lift 
up  my  voice  like  a  trumpet. 


PBSAOHING  AS  A  CANDIDATE.  105 

^^  Don't  think  me  enthusiastic.  No,  no.  Eternity  hangs 
on  the  present  moment,  and  it  is  oar  stupidity  that  makes 
all  energy  enthusiasm. 

*^  Visited  a  sick  man,  a  Christian,  who  could  talk  with  rap- 
ture of  Ood,  and  Christ,  and  heaven. 

" '  O  my  God,  what  am  I  ?'  said  I,  as  I  rode  back.  *  What 
will  my  hope  be  as  an  anchor  in  such  a  storm  ?  Do  I  love 
God  supremely?  Am  I  willing  to  resign  my  dear  Rox- 
ana?  Is  God  my  all  in  all?'  I  have  some  desire  to  be 
weaned  from  the  world  and  swallowed  up  in  God,  bat  that 
desire  seems  like  an  infant  straggling  under  mountain  piled 
on  mountain,  to  throw  them  off  and  rise  above  them.  There 
seems  a  struggling  something  in  my  bosom  that  tries  ^o  rise 
and  unite  itself  with  God,  but  that  is  all.  I  can  not  say  it 
has  ever  been  successful.  Like  Moses  in  the  mount,  it  some- 
times sees  the  blessed  land,  but  never  tastes  the  fruit.    Have 

just  returned  from 's  funeral.    Have  made  a  prayer, 

and  seen  the  dust  returned  to  the  earth.  When  shall  some 
friend  return  from  my  grave,  and  say  to  bis  distant  friend, 
^  Beecher  is  no  more.  I  have  this  day  followed  him  to  the 
grave,  and  deposited  him  in  the  tomb.' 

^^This  evening  that  struggling  something  has  come  near- 
er throwing  off  the  load,  and  admitting  my  soul  into  fellow- 
ship with  God,  than  ever  before.  But  it  is  all  of  God.  A 
week  ago,  and  a  world  would  not  have  purchased  my  pres- 
ent frame  of  mind.  I  feel  some  engagedness  to  preach  the 
Gospel — some  joy  that  I  am  permitted — and  perhaps  there 
is  no  better  place  than  this  to  preach  in.  You  can  not  think 
how  much  easier  it  is  to  preach  and  pray  when  Christians 
are  praying.  It  enlivens  my  soul.  I  think  they  feel  what  I 
speak,  and  then,  from  sympathy,  feel  myself.  It  seems  some- 
times as  if  God  would  pour  out  his  Spirit." 


106  AUTOBIOGSAPHY. 


CHAPTER  XVm. 

OSDIKATION'. 

To  Hoxana. 

«  Much  26. 

^^  Oh  Rozana,  if  we  are  children  of  Christ,  if  we  are  to  bo 
joint  instruments  in  glorifying  God,  and  joint  partakers  of 
heavenly  glory,  how  near,  how  dear  are  you  to  me,  am  I  to 
you !  ^  What  can  separate  us  ?  Can  life,  can  death,  can  an- 
gels, principalities,  or  things  present  or  to  come  ?  No,  Je- 
sus Christ,  the  object  of  our  affection,  shall  forever  unite  us. 
Here  our  souls  shW  meet.  In  Him  wo  shall  be  one  indeed. 
Oh,  let  the  joys  of  our  earthly  union  be  typical  of  that  joy 
which  flows  from  our  union  to  Jesus  Christ. 

^^I  have  just  arisen  from  prayer,  and  feel  refreshed.  ^  Oh, 
my  dear,  it  has  pleased  God  to  do,  in  some  degree,  what  wo 
spoke  upon  when  I  last  saw  you. 

<« « What,'  said  I, '  Roxana,  if  God  should  make  me  an  in- 
strument of  awakening  the  people?  What  if  you  should 
hear  that  a  work  of  God  was  going  on^Jiow  would  you 
fed?' 

"  *  Why,'  you  said,  *I  should  rejoice.' 

^' And  how  should  J  feel  ?  Don't  you  think  I  should  re- 
joice? 

"Mrs.  O has  been  wonderfully  brought  out  from  dark- 
ness into  marvelous  light.  Six  others  are  under  distressing 
concern.  The  general  mind  is  solemn.  Some  feel  anxious 
who  yet  conceal  their  feelings. 

"This  evening  am  to  speak  extempore.    They  like  my 


OBIONATIOK.  107 

extempore  disconrses  more  than  the  written.  I  folly  be- 
lieve they  do  more  good.  I  donH,  however,  mean  to  give 
up  writing  sermons.  Both  together  are  better  than  either 
alone. 

**A  committee  of  twelve,  from  every  part  of  town,  met 
yesterday  to  consnlt  on  the  expediency  of  calling  a  meeting 
to  give  me  a  call.  They  are  pretty  sanguine  of  a  good  de- 
gree of  unanimity.  Should  they  be  sufficiently  united  to 
offer  an  adequate  support,  the  probability  is  that  I  shall  ac- 
cept^and  conclude  to  spend  my  days  in  East  Hampton. 
The  meeting  is  the  first  Thursday  in  April.  Should  I  re^ 
ceive  the  caU,  and  all  things  be  pleasing,  I  shall,  on  Wednes- 
day after,  attend  Presbytery,  through  whose  hands  I  must 
officially  receive  my  call,  and  return  my  answer.  And 
should  not  the  basket  of  eggs  fall  and  break,  but  my  ordi- 
nation be  completed  all  snug  and  sure,  then,  about  that 
time,  say  May  or  June,  you  will  perceive  I  should  naturally 
enough  begin  to  think  about  getting  a  wife." 

To  the  same. 

«MaTCh28, '9e. 

'^  Minds  of  the  people  growing  more  solemn  every  day. 
I  doubt  not  there  is  more  thought  on  religion  now  in  one 
day  in  this  town  than  in  a  week  when  I  first  came.  I  feel 
too  vile  to  be  made  an  instrument  in  so  glorious  a  work, 
and  feel  as  though  I  should  be  an  obstacle,  till  I  consider 
that  Gk>d  does  all  for  his  great  name." 

Diary.— On  a  Vmt  aJt  Gmlfard. 

^^Mdy  20,  '99.  In  the  morning,  rode  out  with  my  cousin ; 
returned,  and  met  Mr.  Bray.    Walked  to  Nutplains. 

^^May  21.  Went  a  fishing  in  forenoon.  Afternoon,  ex- 
ceeding depressed  and  melancholy.    Tarried  till  four.    Re 


108  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

turned  home,  put  up  my  things,  and  prepared  to  set  out  for 
New  London  to  pass  on  to  the  island. 

^^May  25.  At  four  P.M.  landed  on  Oyster  Pond  Bar.  At 
five,  set  out  for  East  Hampton  by  land.  Li  crossing  Wig- 
gins's  ferry,  my  horse,  with  saddle  and  saddle-bags  on,  jump- 
ed overboard,  and  came  near  to  drowning.  Expected  first 
to  lose  saddle  and  saddle-bags ;  next,  horse  and  all ;  and  felt 
I  can  not  tell  how,  not  quite  giving  over,  and  yet  but  little 
hope ;  not  quite  resigned,  and  yet  almost.  Lost  my  bridle, 
and  rode  down  to  Colonel  Deering's  with  a  tarred  rope« 
Spent  the  night  at  Deering's,  on  Shelter  Island,  and  in  the 
morning  rode  in ;  arrived  at  church  just  after  the  first  pray- 
er, and  preached  on  the  text, '  Be  ye  also  ready.'  Patched 
up  a  sermon  between  meetings;  possessed  unusual  flow; 
some  things  in  the  sermon  more  resembling  the  torrent 
than  the  smooth  flow  of  gentle  waters. 

^^May  31.  I  have  experienced  for  some  days  a  melan- 
choly headache.  Feel  gloomy — ^very  gloomy.  It  spoils  all 
attempts  at  prayer,  and  every  other  duty;  for,  while -it  con- 
tinues, I  see  no  subject  except  on  the  darkest  side.  It  dis- 
qualifies me  for  reading,  meditation,  or  writing,  or  even  con- 
versation. But  this  is  not  all.  If  I  ever  felt  any  religion,  it 
seems  to  have  forsaken  me.  I  can  not  feel.  God  is  distant. 
I  can  not  realize,  can  not  get  into  his  presence.  At  tim^ 
I  fear  I  have  never  known  him.  Oh  my  soul,  how  art  thou 
distressed  at  the  thoughts  of  preaching  an  unknown  Savior  I 

'*  This  is,  in  fact,  my  great,  my  whole  burden.  K I  could 
have  a  comfortable  evidence  that  my  heart  was  reconciled 
to  God,  it  seems  I  should  not  feel  such  despondency,  let  the 
world  go  which  way  it  would.  That  I  do  not  enjoy  the 
world  I  do  not  so  much  regret,  but  to  have  no  enjoyment 
of  God  is  trying.  But  God  is :  he  is  just ;  he  will  do  right. 
I  am  a  worm,  and  deserve  to  be  unhappy." 


OBDINATIOX.  109 

7b  Boocana. 

"  June  a,  •OS. 

"  Religion  loses  grouod.  None  under  conviction  when  I 
went  home  have  reverted,  but  none  brought  into  marvelous 
light.  Christians  haye  lost  the  spirit  of  prayer.  I,  too,  can 
not  feel  as  I  did.  I  have  been  much  cast  down.  My  head 
has  been  something  affected,  which  always  shows  me  the 
dark  side  of  subjects.  At  such  times  God  is  high  as  heav- 
en, but  I  can  not  leave  the  earth. 

'^  When  I  consider  that  I  am  an  object  of  your  affection, 
I  am  affected  with  my  unsubstantial  merit — a  shadow,  a 
nothing— and  with  your  unhappiness  in  being  connected 
with  me.  Well,  you  must  make  the  most  of  a  bad  bar- 
gain. 

*^  As  to  my  call,  it  is  the  custom  here  to  covenant  to  dis- 
charge the  salary.  This  pulls  on  a  string  that  terminates  in 
the  heart — ^the  purse-string.  How  it  will  end  I  know  not. 
It  has  learned  me  not  to  be  too  sanguine. 

''^  Tuesday^  June  18.  Visited  Rachel  and  P (colored 

people). \  Christ  is  not  ashamed  to  enter  and  dwell  in  a  cot- 
tage. The  thought  affected  me  when  I  entered  their  low 
dwelling — but  one  room,  no  chimney,  no  floor.  Blessed  are 
the  poor  I  How  much  happier  the  tenants  of  this  obscure 
hut  than  the  tenants  of  a  palace  rolling  in  splendor. 

*'Been  teading  lately  Strong's  sermons  on  Sovereignty, 
the  Justice  of  God,  and  his  acting  for  his  own  Glory ;  also 
Dr.  Linn's  Sermons,  and  Life  of  Newton.  Studied  Virgil. 
Read  Mrs.  Anthony's  Life. 

^^June  20.  Most  have  signed.  Those  w|io  refuse,  most 
of  them  wish  me  to  stay,  and  declare  their  intention  to  pay. 

*^  I  am  not  without  apprehension  of  difficulty  on  account 
of  Baptism.    But  we  must  never  expect  God  to  bend  all 


110  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

things  to  our  wishes.    Bend  our  wills  to  his  providence  is 
better. 

^'Aunt  Benton's  situation  affects  me  much.    But  when 
she  is  dead,  I  expect  to  bleed  from  the  very  heart,  for  no 
one,  not  even  youraelf,  perhaps,  lies  nearer  it. 
.  "fTw/y  2.   Rode   to  Mr.  Woolworth's,  and  dined   with 
Messra.  Daggett  and  Hall. 

"  Wedneadaj/,  Spent  forenoon  in  social  conversation  and 
serious  discussion  on  question,  *  What  is  the  nature  of  that 
holiness  without  which  no  man  shall  see  the  Lord  ?'  An- 
swer : '  It  is  the  love  of  doing  good ;'  and  observed,  and  aft- 
erward attempted  to  support  the  idea  that  natural  good  is 
the  object  of  qioral ;  or,  that  the  excellence  of  holiness  con- 
sists in  its  tendency  to  promote  happiness.  •  • 
.  ^'  Mr.  HalPs  case  was  brought  up.  A  woman,  a  member 
of  his  Church,  died.  Her  husband  not  in  the  Church.  Aft- 
er her  death,  the  father  presents  the  child  to  be  baptized  on 
her  account,  and  Mr.  Hall  baptized  it.  Query :  Did  he  do 
right? 

*'The  child  has  no  right,  nor  the  surviving  parent.  The 
deceased  parent  can  not  now  be  active,  for  in  the  grave 
there  is  no  wisdom  nor  device.  The  propriety  must  be 
found  in  what  the  parent  has  done  while  living.  It  can  be 
considered  only  as  a  publishing  and  sealing  by  baptism  the 
covenant  relation  of  the  deceased  to  God  while  living.  It- 
is  a  token  of  the  covenant  which  was  between  God  and  her 
while  on  earth.  Now  the  question  is,  where  is  there  any 
obligation  to  make  this  public  ?  Not  on  the  woman: — ^sho 
is  no  more ;  not  on  the  man — he  is  not  a  member  of  Christ's 
Church ;  not  on  the  minister — he  is  supposed  to  be  igno- 
rant. 

^'But  if  the  person  had  formerly  requested  the  thing;  if 
B^e  had  died  before  the  minister  could  perform  the  act ;  if 


OJSDIXATION.  Ill 

she  had  been  taken  delirious  immediately  after  requesting 
it — ^in  all  these  oases  would  we  not  baptize?  If  the  act  be 
justifiable  then,  must  it  not  be  on  the  supposition  that  it 
was  the  woman's  desire  ?  Doubtless.  But  is  it  not  pre- 
suming too  much  ?    Sic  cogito, 

*'  Returned  through  Wainscott.  Called  on  Phebe  Bowers 
about  an  hour  after  the  Lord  had  hopeftiUy  sbined  into  her 
soul.  Found  her  full  of  peace,  her  burden  gone ;  she  had, 
she  said,  given  ail  up  to  Christ.  She  could  not  trust  to  her 
righteousness,  but  she  was  not  afraid  to  trust  to  Him.  I 
suggested, '  May  you  not  be  deceived  in  what  you  now 
feel  ?'  She  replied  with  exultation,  ^  No,  I  can  not !'  She 
appeared  to  experience  joy  unspeakable.  I  felt  rejoiced, 
though  I  could  not  rejoice  so  much  as  she. 

"  Thursday^  Jvly  4,  '99.  Celebration.  Rode  with  Squire 
Miller  to  Sag  Harbor.  Met  Messrs.  Wool  worth,  Daggett, 
Mansel,  etc.  Attended  meeting.  Sermon  by  Mr.  Bogart. 
Want  of  method,  and  not  sufficient  substance  to  hold  up 
so  much  ornament.  A  person's  looks  may  be  assisted  by 
dress ;  but  if  the  ornament  hide  the  person  from  view,  ani- 
mals might  be  made  equally  beautiful. 

*^  Maxim :  Never  begin  to  flourish  till  you  have  said  some- 
thing substantial  to  build  upon.  All  the  flourishes  in  the 
world  will  not  affect  the  mind  unless  they  relate  to,  or  grow 
out  of  something  important,  of  which  the  mind  is  previous- 
ly possessed.  Plain  speech  is  best  to  interest  the  hearts 
and  persuade. 

*'  Dined  with  the  company  at  Mr.  Gilston's,  and  was 
pleased  with  the  sobriety  and  decency  of  the  entertainment. 
While  walking  in  the  procession,  was  tenderly  affected  with 
the  scenes  which  the  occasion  called  up.  How  much  has 
been  suffered  to  procure  what  this  day  celebrates !  How 
much  individual  suffering,  how  many  scenes,  each  of  which 


112  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

m 

would  pain  the  heart,  are  buried  in  oblivion  |  ♦  ♦  ♦  How 
many  soldiers,  who  engaged  in  the  cause  of  freedom  with 
liigh  expectations,  fell  ere  the  wished-for  day  arrived !  It 
is  not  the  death  of  the  great  that  so  much  affects  me  as  it  is 
of  the  obscure,  the  honest  soldier ;  it  is  those  who  sleep  un- 
distinguished by  name  or  tide,  whoso  individual  labors  are 
forgot,  that  touches  my  heart. 

^^IHday^  Jtdy  5,  '99.  This  morning,  about  half  past  eight, 
I  performed  an  act  probably  as  important  in  its  conse- 
quences as  any  in  my  whole  life.  After  commending  myself 
to  God  in  prayer,  beseeching  Him  to  assist  me,  and  make 
His  grace  sufficient  for  me,  I  subscribed  a  covenant,  in  which 
I  promise  to  the  people  of  East  Hampton  *  to  settle  with 
them,  and  carry  on  the  work  of  the  Gospel  ministry  among 
them ;  faithfully  and  conscientiously  to  discharge  the  duties 
of  my  office  according  to  my  ability.'  And  now,  great 
Shepherd  of  Israel,  be  with  me !  Instruct  me  in  the  duties 
incumbent,  and  incline  me  faithfully  and  conscientiously  to 
perform  them  till  death.  Oh,  help  me  to  conduct  so  that, 
relying  on  the  righteousness  of  Christ,  I  may  meet  Thee  and 
give  an  account  of  my  stewardship  with  joy.  Instruct  me 
in  thy  Holy  Word,  and  enable  me  to  instruct  others.  Grant 
me  that  wisdom  which  is  profitable  to  direct-^even  the  wis- 
dom of  the  serpent  and  the  harmlessness  of  the  dove.  May 
my  conversation  be  that  seasoned  with  religion.  May  my 
conduct  be  such  that  those  who  behold  it  may  take  knowl- 
edge of  mo  that  I  have  been  with  Christ.  Preserve  me 
from  covetousness,  from  avarice,  from  pride— especially  from 
spiritual  pride.  Preserve  me  from  anger,  and  rash  or  hasty 
speaking.  Fortify  me  with  meekness,  so  that  when  railed 
at  I  may  not  i*ail  again,  but  suffer  wrong  cheerfully. 

^'  0  Lord,  grant  me  as  strong  affection  for  this  people  as 
is  consistent  with  supreme  love  to  Tliee,  and  enable  me  to 


OBDmATION.  113 

secare  and  preserve  their  affection  so  far  as  it  shall  conduce 
to  my  usefulness  and  Thy  glory. 

*' Preserve  me  from  idleness  and  sloth.  Give  me  clear-^ 
ness  of  perception,  fixedness  of  mind,  fervency  of  spirit,  a 
humble  boldness,  and  freedom  of  speech.  Enable  me  now, 
and  from  this  time  till  I  die,  to  commit  myself  and  all  my 
concerns  into  the  hands  of  Him  who  has  said,  ^  Lo,  I  am  with 
yon  always.'  Lord,  let  this  promise  always  support  mc. 
Even  when  called  to  walk  in  darkness,  may  I  trust  in  the 
Lord ! 

"  Saturday^  July  6,  '99.  Conversation  with  H.  and  J. 

M on  the  subject  of  baptism.    Was  deficient  in  that 

wisdom  of  the  serpent  which  is  compatible  with  the  harm- 
lessncss  of  the  dove.  Spoke  strong  when  I  ought  to  have 
spoken  exceeding  mild,  and  felt  some  vexation  when  I  ought 
to  have  been  perfectly  calm.  Resolved  to  practice  self-gov- 
ernment, and  go  this  day  and  practice  it  upon  the  same  per- 
sons. 

"  Monday^  July  8.  Went  to  bathe,  and  swam  beyond  my 
depth.  Fell  into  a  little  sea-poose,*  and  was  something 
frightened,  but,  through  God's  mercy,  was  preserved. 

^^  Saturday^  July  13.  A  memorable  day  in  the  history  of 
my  life.  I  received  news  of  the  death  of  my  beloved  Aunt 
Benton.  The  memory  of  my  aunt's  affection  and  unwearied 
attention  to  myself  completely  overwhelmed  me,  and  I  was 
obliged  to  give  rein  to  passion. 

^^Sabbathy  July  1 4.  With  difficulty  read  Psalm  cxix.,  fourth 
part ;  with  difficulty  requested  the  Church  to  join  me  in 
prayer,  that  the  death  of  my  aunt,  who  from  my  infancy  had 
sustained  the  relation  of  a  parent,  might  bo  sanctified  to  my- 
self and  others.    Evening :  determined  to  return  home  to- 

*  Two  waves  meeting  formed  what  was  ca11ed|  along  shore,  a  sea- 
poose,  or  cat-poose,  which  was  reiy  dangerous  to  swimmers. 


114  AUT0BI06BAPH  Y. 

morrow.  Oh,  how  shall  I  meet'  my  afflicted  uncle  ?  How 
shall  l  enter  the  solitary  house  ?  Yesterday  and  to-day  I 
shall  always  remember. 

"  Tuesday^  July  16.  Embarked;  becalmed ;  drifling  with 
the  tide.    Heached  New  London  at  ten  o^clock. 

''^Wedneaday^July  \^,  Reached  homo  about  five  PJtf. 
The  door  was  locked,  and  I  set  out  to  go  to  a  neighbor's ; 
was  met  by  Widow  Johnson ;  and  when  I  saw  her,  and 
came  to  shake  hands,  my  grief  overflowed.  ^  My  friend  and 
yours,'  said  she, '  has  gone  and  left  us.'  I  turned  back,  and 
entered  the  empty  house.  Soon  after  Unde  Benton  came 
home.  I  met  him  not  far  from  the  door.  '  You  have  come 
to  an  empty  house,  Lyman.'  I  reached  forth  and  shook 
hands,  but  could  not  speak. 

*^  Thursday^  July  18.  Spent  the  forenoon  reading  sermons. 
Afternoon,  rode  to  Sachem's  Head  with  Rozana,  Mr.  Ly- 
man, and  Sally  Hill. 

*•*•  Friday.  Spent  the  forenoon  in  getting  in  grain,  after- 
noon with  Roxana.  Rode  to  the  Point,  where  a  numerous 
company  was  collected  to  regale  themselves ;  but  the  recol- 
lections of  my  aunt  prevented  my  stay.  I  could  not  bear 
the  thought  of  joining  in  scenes  of  mirth,  and,  my  dear  friend 
complying,  we  rode  back,  and  spent  the  remainder  of  the 
P.M.  happily  in  each  other's  company. 

^^  Saturday yJtdy  25/  Returned  to  East  Hampton. 

^^  Monday^  Auyust  19.  Set  out  for  Presbytery  with  Squire 
Hand.  Rode  to  Mr.Woolworth's.  He  journeyed  with  us. 
Called  on  Mr.  Bogart.  Dined  at  the  Canoe  Place.  Rode  to 
River  Head. 

^^Aug^ust  20.  Arrived  at  Middletown  about  ten  A.M. 
Mr.  Faitoute  preached  the  sermon,  and  Presbytery  proceed- 
ed to  business. 

*'  I  infoimed  them  I  had  accepted  the  call  of  the  people 


OKSaJXAHOV.  115 

of  East  Hampton,  and  was  ready  for  examination,  and  the 
next  morning  was  appointed  for  the  purpose. 

"  Wednesday^  August  21.  At  eight  o'clock  Presbytery  be- 
gan examination,  and  continued  till  one.  Resumed  at  two 
P.M.,  and  concluded  in  about  an  hour.  There  was  nothing 
difficult  in  the  examination,  except  what  arose  from  differ- 
ence of  sentiment  between  the  examiners  on  several  sub- 
jects, on  which  4hey  disputed  through  the  candidate. 

'*  I  felt  no  embarrassment,  though  once  was  a  little  raised 
in  feeling  when  wounded  by  those  who  were  disputing  over 
my  head. 

^'  TTiursdayj  September  5,  '90.  Ordination.  This  impor- 
tant day  will  ever  stand  prominent  through  the  days  of  my 
life,  and  probably  through  the  days  of  eternity. 

*' Just  before  ten  o'clock,  retiring  to  the  bam,  made  a 
humble  attempt  to  give  myself  up  to  God  in  the  work  of 
the  ministry.  Prayed  for  aid  and  direction  through  the  day, 
for  ability  and  faithfulness  in  the  ministerial  office;  after 
which,  repaired  to  the  house  of  God,  and  heard  an  excellent 
sermon  by  Mr.Woolworth.  Was  much  affected  in  his  ad- 
dress to  the  candidate,  q»ecially  at  the  remark,  *The  souls, 
the  deathless  souls  of  this  great  people  are  committed  to 
your  charge.'  After  sermon  the  solemn  ceremony  of  conse- 
cration took  place,  in  which,  though  my  feelings  were  not 
so  lively,  my  soul  was  weighed  down,  and  almost  over- 
whelmed with  the  importance  of  the  subject. 

^^  After  the  ceremony,  read  the  Psalm,  pronounced  the 
benediction,  and  then,  standing  by  the  door,  received  the 
right  hand  of  fellowship  from  all  the  male  members  of  the 
Assembly.  An  exceedingly  pleasant,  tender,  and  affecting 
ceremony.  May  God  perpetuate  the  emotions  of  affection 
for  my  people  which  at  that  time  were  experienced  I" 


116  ATTTOBIOaSAPHr. 

When  I  received  the  call,  I  had  to  ride  eighty  milefl  to 
Newtown  to  put  it  into  the  hands  of  Presbytery,  which  met 
twice  a  year,  and  then  Presbytery  put  it  into  my  hands 
again.  That  is  the  way,  you  know.  Good,  sociable  times 
we  had  at  Presbytery ;  full  of  interest  and  gladness ;  just 
like  brothers. 

The  fact  is,  a  Presbytery  made  up  of  New  England  men, 
raised  Congregationalists,  is  the  nearest  tbe  Bible  of  any 
thing  there  is.  But  if  yon  go  to  sticking  it  up,  Scotch  fash- 
ion, with  appeals,  etc.,  I  wouldn't  put  myself  into  the  hands 
of  such  a  power  all  over  the  United  States.  There  was  Bo- 
gart,  of  Southampton ;  Zachariah  Greene,  a  special  friend ; 
Faitoute,  of  Jamaica,  an  Old  School  man — ^but  we  had  no 
controversy;  Schenck,  of  Huntingdon,  and  Dr.  Wool  worth, 
of  Bridgehampton.  He  was  a  father  to  me  in  ecclesiastical 
matters.  I  was  a  raw  boy,  and  knew  nothing.  We  loved 
each  other  unceasingly.  Then  there  was  Herman  Daggett 
also— a  mild,  intellectual  man,  whose  sermons  were  all  fitted 
for  the  press,  every  dot.  He  was  cheerful,  but  never  known 
to  smile,  so  it  was  said.  It  was  also  remarked  of  him  that 
he  was  just  fit  to  preach  to  ministers. 

After  ordination,  my  first  business  was  to  organize  a  Ses- 
sion. 

Dr.  Buell  had  always  belonged  to  Presbytery,  and  the 
Church  called  itself  Presbyterian ;  but  they  never  had  an 
elder,  never  sent  up  any  records,  never  had  any  to  send. 
Dr.  Buell  was  Church  and  every  thing  else.  They  were 
Congregational  up  to  the  hub ;  got  along  in  an  easy,  slip- 
shod way. 

H.  B.  S.  "  What  was  Presbytery  doing  ?" 

How  did  they  know  ?  There  had  not  been  a  case  of  dis- 
cipline for  a  long  time.  When  I  searched  for  Church  rec- 
ords, could  find  none.    Dr.  Buell  bad  left  some,  but  they 


OBDINATION.  117 

were  regarded  as  private  property.  When  he  went  to  Pres- 
bytery he  took  along  a  deacon. 

I  persuaded  them,  and  we  organized  a  good,  strong,  no- 
ble Session. 

In  the  address  to  them  at  their  ordination,  I  said, "Un- 
derstand thoroughly  the  laws  you  are  to  execute.  These 
are  recorded  in  the  Bible,  particularly  the  eighteenth  chap- 
ter of  Matthew,  and  1  Corinthians,  v. ;  and  many  other 
places  which  you  will  be  able  to  search  out." 

I  also  urged  them  to  be  men  of  prayer,  to  be  upright,  and 
to  keep  constantly  in  mind  the  promises  of  Qod. 

Well,  when  I  got  the  eldership,  we  found  a  member  who 
was  a  drunkard.  Some  good  old  ladies  thought  it  a  pity  to 
touch  him,  he  had  been  drinking  so  long,  poor  fellow ! 

Another  had  sold  a  horse  for  sound  that  was  not  sound. 
He  siud  it  was  not  his  business  to  tell  the  horse's  faults.  It 
was  the  purchaser's  business  to  see  what  he  was  buying. 
We  gave  him  some  edification  on  that  point.  So  we  straight- 
ened things,  and  kept  them  strict  and  careful,  and  had  no 
trouble. 

H.  B.  S.  "  Why,  fether,  were  you  a  Presbyterian  then  P" 

I  didn't  care  which  I  was.  Presbytery  did  not  care  much. 
They  were  all  Connecticut  men.  The  Churches  did  not 
care.  They  were  all  Congregational  at  first,  every  Church 
on  the  island.  Afterward  they  changed  to  Presbyterian, 
without  any  particular  influence.  There  was  none  of  that 
foolishness  about  idms  which  has  been  got  up  lately. 

H.  W.  B.  "  But  would  it  not  have  been  better  if  you  had 
made  them  a  good  sound  Congregational  Church  ?" 

Oh  pshaw !  I  could  not  ride  two  horses  at  once,  one  this 
way,  and  the  other  that.* 

*  Dr.  Bacon*8  Funeral  XMsconne : 

"After  a  year  of  probation,  he  was  ordained  to  tbe  pastoral  o£Sce  in  that 


118  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

^^Sq>tember  9.  Rode  to  Sag  Harbor,  and  crossed  to  New 
Haven.  Arrived  at  sunset.  Mr.  Woolworth  and  Memsel 
went  to  my  father's  with  me.     Called  on  Tutor  Davis. 

^^  September  16.  Rode  to  Guilford.  Called  on  Baldwin, 
and  in  the  evening  called  on  my  friend. 

^^  September  11.  This  day  spent  chiefly  with  my  friend. 
In  the  afternoon  Esther  came,  and  is  now  below.  To-mor- 
row I  expect  to  be  united  in  sacred  engagements  to  my 
dear  friend.  Oh,  that  my  heart  might  be  impressed  with 
gratitude  to  Ood  for  his  favors,  and  especially  for  providing 
for  me  a  loving  and  beloved  friend.'' 

church,  which  had  acquired,  by  the  extraordinaiy  gifts  and  nsefolnefls  of 
its  last  preceding  pastor,  a  sort  of  metropolitan  conspicuousness,  not  only 
in  the  county,  but  on  the  other  side  of  Long  Island  Sound.  In  the  good 
providence  of  God,  he  had  fidlen  into  just  the  place  for  his  deyelopment 
and  training  as  a  preacher.  His  people,  in  their  insular  position,  had  re- 
tained a  primitive  simplicity  of  manners  and  habits ;  and,  at  the  same 
time,  they  were  well  instructed  on  the  great  themes  of  evangelical  relig- 
ion, and  were  therefore  capable  of  appreciating  the  best  kind  of  sermons. 
The  act  of  royal  power  which,  in  1664,  cut  oif  the  Puritan  settlements  on 
this  island  from  their  political  connection  with  Connecticut,  had  not  af- 
fected their  religious  and  ecclesiastical  sympathies,  and  though  the  East 
Hampton  Church  had  become  Presbyterian  in  name,  it  had  received  all 
its  pastors  from  New  ^gland.  Where  could  there  be  a  better  place  for  a 
young  pastor  of  such  gifts  to  tiy  what  he  could  do»  and  to  become  con- 
scious of  his  powers  ?" 


gCy^-^.c.<^A.y^—^ 


BBTTINO  UP  HOUSEKXXPIKG. 


CHAPTER  XIX. 
BETTiNa  DP  uovssKxxpnra. 


ImiEDiATELT  sttet  Settlement  I  went  home  to  be  married. 
We  had  been  engaged  two  years,  but,  though  the  time  was 
long,  the  intercourse  was  bo  frequent  that  we  were  very 
happy. 

We  did  not  chide  the  lingering  hours,  for  we  were  ac- 
quainted, and  seasoned  to  mutual  afiectjon ;  though,  when 
the  time  came,  we  were  willing.  Nobody  ever  married  more 
heart  and  hand  than  we.  The  ceremony  was  performed  Sep- 
tember 19, 1799,  by  Parson  Bray.  It  was  in  the  forenoon, 
F 


120  AUTOBIOOBAPHT. 

and  there  was  a  drenching  rain.  All  Roxana's  friends  were 
there,  and  all  my  folks  from  New  Haven :  &ther,  mother, 
David,  Mary,  Pruey,  Esther,  besides  Uncle  Lot. 

After  a  day  or  two  we  packed  up.  Roxana  had  a  small 
amomit :  candle-stand,  bureau,  table,  clothing,  bedding,  lin- 
en, and  stuffs  enough  for  herself  and  her  sister  Mary,  who 
staid  with  us  till  her  marriage. 

Uncle  Benton  hired  a  smaU  sloop  to  take  us  over ;  he  al- 
ways did  such  things  for  us;  took  as  much  care  of  me  as  if 
I  had  been  But  fifteen ;  made  all  my  bargains.  We  went 
to  Judge  Miller's  for  a  week,  and  then  to  Aunt  Fhebe 
Gardiner's. 

Soon  after  our  marriage,  while  we  lived  at  Aimt  Ph^be 
Gardiner's,  the  revival,  which  had  been  checked,  burst  forth 
with  unexpected  power.  The  interest  in  spring  of  1799  had 
been  sufficient  to  check  division  and  unite  the  Church  in  the 
work.  It  declined,  however,  during  summer,  and  did  not 
break  out  again  till  January,  1800. 

That  revival  began  like  a  flash  of  lightning  and  ended  like 
a  flash  of  lightning.  It  was  the  only  time  I  ever  had  a  re- 
vival without  feeling  it  beforehand  in  my  own  soul. 

Before  evening  service,  one  Sabbath,  news  came  to  me 
that  two  of  Deacon  Shirrell's  sons  were  under  conviction. 
Oh,  how  I  went  down  there !  Whether  walking,  or  flying, 
or  on  tiptoe,  I  don't  know.  When  I  got  into  the  deacon's 
seat,  oh  how  I  preached !  I  spilled  over.  All  the  old  folks 
waked  up ;  and  when  I  went  home,  after  meeting,  to  Aunt 
Phebe's,  the  young  people  all  flowed  together  there.  I  knew 
what  it  was :  the  good  folks  all  felt  that  they  had  a  revival, 
and  now  was  their  time. 

One  young  lady  was  in  distress.  ^* Oh  what  shall  I  do? 
what  shall  I  do?"  she  exclaimed.  At  once  her  eyes  blazed 
up  with  joy :  *'  Oh,  bless  God  that  I  was  bom  a  sinner  I" 


SETTINO  UP  HOUBXKXEPINO.  121 

I  asked  her  afterward  what  she  meant  by  that.    **  Why, 
if  I  hadn't  been  a  ainner,  Christ  wouldn't  have  died  for  meP 
^^  Is  it  the  glory  of  God  in  that  that  pleases  yon  ?" 


y    That  was  good  New  School  doctrine.    I  was  active  then 
^  on  those  points.    I  took  great  pains  to  see  that  they  were 
oonrerted  in  Hopkins's  way. 

The  work  went  on  gloriously  for  six  weeks,  and  shook  the 
whole  town.  Eighty  were  conrerted,  and  fifty  united  with 
the  Church. 


li'am  Mrs.  Beecher  to  Muriel  Ibote. 

"  Norember  15,  '99. 

^  I  hare  not  heard  a  syllable  from  home  since  I  left.  Sis- 
ter, you  must  prepare  your  heart  to  come  orer  in  the  spring 
and  help  me,  for  I  don't  do  any  thing  but  set  the  table  and 
dear  it  away,  and  so  you  may  well  suppose  I  shall  want 
somebody  by  that  time  to  help  me  put  things  in  order. 

*'  I  find  it  difiScult  to  get  letters  to  you.  We  live  seven 
miles  from  Sag  Harbor.  I  can  not  go  daily  to  carry  letters, 
nor  send  Mary.  As  for  Mr.  Beecher,  he  is  every  body's 
man.    I  will  tell  you  a  little  how  it  has  been  this  winter. 

^'Mr.  Beecher  has  preached  seven  or  eight  times  a  week 
the  whole  winter.  Last  week,  for  example,  he  preached 
twice  in  town  and  two  lectures,  besides  a  funeral  sermon  on 
Gardiner's  Island,  and  five  sermons  to  the  Indians  and  white 
people  down  at  Montauk.  He  every  week  lectures  at  some 
one  of  the  villages  adjoining :  Wainscott,  four  miles ;  Am- 
aghansett,  three  jniles ;  Northwest,  seven ;  The  Springs, 
seven ;  and  another  place  with  an  ugly  Indian  name.  Some 
weeks  at  two  or  three  of  these  places ;  and  when  not  at  these 
places,  there  have  been  meetings  afternoons  and  evenings, 
and  sometimes  in  the  forenoon.    I  have  not  in  the  least  ex- 


122       '  AUTOmOOBAPHT. 

aggerated,  and  you  may  therefore  suppose  he  has  not  had 
much  leisure  to  attend  to  other  business. 

^'My  principal  business  has  been  to  prepare  three  meals 
a  day,  and  now  and  then  to  put  my  house  a  little  in  order. 
I  hare  spun  enough  for  about  two  pairs  of  stockings,  and 
almost  knit  them,  and  have  mended  my  own  and  husband's 
clothes.  This  uncommon  attention  to  religion  has  brought 
a  good  deal  of  company.  Indeed,  there  has  been  somebody 
here  the  greater  part  of  the  time.  We  have  not  passed 
above  one  or  two  evenings  without  visitors  since  I  have 
been  here,  and  they  commonly  stay  till  eleven  o'clock,  so 
that  I  find  it  difficult  to  seize  a  moment  to  write.  I  have 
been  to  visit  the  people  in  all  the  villages,  and  have  called 
on.  Mrs.  Dr.  Woolworth,  at  Bridgehampton,  three  times ; 
have  also  been  to  Sag  Harbor  twice,  and  have  visited  a  great 
man^  people  in  town.  I  told  you  I  had  not  spun  any ;  but 
I  have  been  presented  with  nearly  seventy  runs  of  linen  yam 
by  the  young  ladies  of  the  town  and  villages,  so  that,  if  I 
had  but  filling  for  it,  I  should  have  a  fine,  long  piece  of  cloth ; 
but  I  shall  be  obliged  to  take  one  half  to  fill  the  other. 
Next  Monday  Mr.  Beecher  sets  out  for  Huntington,  to  meet 
the  Presbytery,  and  contemplates  going  to  New  York  be- 
fore he  returns. 

''  You  must  contrive  to  have  mamma  come  over  as  early 
in  the  summer  as  she  can.  Come  when  she  will,  she  must 
stay  with  me  the  month  of  August,  and  in  September,  should 
I  be  alive  and  well,  I  shall  expect  to  return  with  her  to 
Guilford.'' 


Soon  after  our  marriage  we  were  riding  together  from 
Sag  Harbor.  With  great  good  nature  wq  were  reconnoiter- 
ing  to  find  if  there  were  any  faults  in  each  other  which 
might  be  the  occasion  of  trouble.    I  told  her  I  did  not  know 


SETTING  UP   H0U8S1LXEPIN6.  123 

as  I  had  .any  faults — unless  one:  that  I  was  passionate, 
quick,  and  quick  over ;  but  if  she  answered  quick  we  might 
have  trouble.  Her  face  overspread  with  a  glow  of  emotion, 
and  tears  flowed ;  and  that  single  thing  prevented  the  real- 
ization of  the  evil  forever.  1£  she  saw  I  was  touched,  sh^ 
never  said  a  word — she  appreciated  the  thing ;  she  entered 
into  my  character  entirely. 

I  scarcely  ever  saw  her  agitated  to  tears.  Once,  soon  after 
we  had  moved  into  our  new  house,  the  two  pigs  did  some- 
thing that  vexed  me ;  I  got  angry  and  thrashed  them.  She 
came  to  the  door  and  interposed.  The  fire  hadn't  got  out. 
I  said  quickly,  '*  Go  along  in !"  She  started,  but  hadn't 
more  than  time  to  turn  before  I  was  at  her  side,  and  threw 
my  arms  round  her  neck  and  kissed  her,  and  told  her  I  was 
sorry.    Then  she  wept. 

C.  ^'That  was  the  nearest  to  a  quarrel  you  ever  came?" 

Yes,  it  was. 

In  the  spring  of  1800  I  bought  a  house  and  five  acres  of 
ground  for  $800.  It  was  a  two-story  framed  house,  shin- 
gled instead  of  clap-boarded  on  the  sides,  the  gable  end  to 
the  street.  I  laid  new  pitch-pine  floors,  had  a  new  flreplace 
made,  and  finished  the  back  rooms  and  chambers,  also  a 
small  bedroom  below. 

The  repairs  cost  me  $300.  I  found  I  must  have  my  *^  set- 
tlement" in  money.  So  I  proposed  to  give  up  what  parson- 
age I  held,  and  receive  the  $500  according  to  the  first  offer. 


Mrs,  Beecher  to  Harriet  Iboie, 

<*  August  15, 1800. 

*'  It  has  cost  us  a  good  deal  to  get  the  old  house  into  a 
habitable  condition.  We  have  just  got  so  that  we  think  we 
shall  be  able  to  live  in  it,  and  yesterday  we  removed  from 
Mrs.  Gardiner's  to  our  own  house.    We  have  new  floors 


124  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

over  the  whole  of  the  lower  part  of  the  house ;  in  the  nnfin- 
ished  end  next  the  lot  a  convenient  new  milk-room  and  pan- 
try, and  on  the  side  next  the  sti'eet  a  decent  large  bedroom. 
When  we  have  completed  the  plan  it  will  be  quite  a  con- 
.venient  house." 


There  was  not  a  store  in  town,  and  all  our  purchases  were 
made  in  New  Tork  by  a  small  schooner  that  ran  once  a 
week. 

We  had  no  carpets ;  there  was  not  a  carpet  from  end  to 
end  of  the  town.  All  had  sanded  floors,  some  of  them  worn 
through.  Tour  mother  introduced  the  first  carpet.  Uncle 
Lot  gave  me  some  money,  and  I  had  an  itch  to  spend  it. 
Went  to  a  vendue,  and  bought  a  bale  of  cotton.  She  spun 
it,  and  had  it  woven ;  then  she  laid  it  down,  sized  it,  and 
painted  it  in  oils,  with  a  border  all  around  it,  and  bunches 
of  roses  and  other  flowers  over  the  centre.  She  sent  to 
New  York  for  her  colors,  and  ground  and  mixed  them 
herself.  The  carpet  was  nailed  down  on  the  garret  floor, 
and  she  used  to  go  up  there  and  paint.  She  also  took  some 
common  wooden  chairs  and  painted  them,  and  cut  out  fig- 
ures of  gilt  paper,  and  glued  them  on  and  varnished  them. 
They  were  really  quite  pretty. 

H.  B.  S.  "  That  carpet  is  one  of  the  first  things  I  remem- 
ber, with  its  pretty  border." 

C.  **  It  lasted  till  my  day,  and  covered  the  east  bedroom 
in  our  Litchfield  home. 

H.  B.  S.  '^  Well,  fitther,  what  did  East  Hampton  folks  say 
to  that  ?" 

Oh,  they  thought  it  fine.  Old  Deacon  Tallmadge  came  to 
see  me.  He  stopped  at  the  parlor  door,  and  seemed  afraid 
to  come  in. 

*'  Walk  in,  deacon,  walk  in,"  said  L 


BSmNG  UP  HOUSSKJDEPINO.  126 

"  Why,  I  can%"  said  he,  ♦«  'thout  Btq)pm'  on't."  Then, 
after  sarveying  it  a  while  in  admiration,  ^'  D'ye  think  ye  can 
have  all  that,  cmd  heavin  tooF^ 

Perhaps  he  thought  we  were  getting  too  splendid,  and 
feared  we  should  make  an  idol  of  our  fine  things. 

Well,  we  got  nestled  down  in  our  new  house.  Grandmoth- 
er Foote,  Rozana,  Mary,  and  I.  Aunt  Ruth,  our  good  nurse, 
took  tea  with  us  the  first  evening ;  and  when  we  sat  down 
at  our  own  table  for  the  first  time,  I  felt  strong^  emotion, 
very  much  like  crying. 

Soon  after,  our  first  child  was  bom.*  I  shall  never  for- 
get my  feelings  when  Grandma  Foote  put  her  in  my  arms. 
^  Thou  little  immortal !"  was  all  I  could  say.  We  called  her 
Catharine  Esther,  the  first  from  Aunt  Benton,  my  foster- 
mother,  the  second  from  my  own  mother. 

Soon  after,  your,  mother  took  Drusilla  Crook,  a  colored 
girl,  about  five  years  old,  to  take  care  of  the  baby.  We 
called  her  Zillah.  She  was  bound  to  us  till  she  was  eight- 
een. YThen  Mary  was  bom,  we  took  a  sister  of  Zillah's 
named  Rachel.  Zillah  was  the  smartest  black  woman  I 
ever  knew.  She  learned  every  thing  Catharine  did,  and  as 
well  as  she  did.  She  was  a  great  deal  smarter  than  Ra- 
chel. Rachel  was  stupid.  Zillah  was  as  kind  and  amiable 
as  possible.  None  of  us  ever  saw  her  angry.  When  I 
moved  to  Litchfield  they  accompanied  us,  and  staid  till  their 
time  was  out.  They  were  so  much  a  part  of  the  family, 
that  when  any  of  us  were  away,  in  writing  home,  we  always 
sent  love  to  Zillah  and  Rachel  as  much  as  to  the  others. 


Mrs.  Beecher  to  Harriet  Foote* 

"  April  29, 1801. 

^^  I  am  seated  with  breakfast-table  half  cleared,  and  Cath- 

*  September  6, 1800. 


126  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

arine  sick  in  my  lap.  K I  had  a  mother  or  sister  where  I 
could  get  to  them  without  as  much  fuss  as  would  suffice  to 
prepare  for  an  Indian  voyage,  it  would  be  a  comfort.  *  *  * 
Tell  mamma  folks  say  Catharine  looks  just  like  her." 


About  this  time  I  kept  school  in  the  Academy  for  a  brief 
period.  It  was  horrible — a  perfect  torture.  It  was  just 
like  driving  Uncle  Lof  s  old  plow,  only  worse,  to  sit  there 
looking  at  my  watch  ten  times  an  hour  to  see  when  I  should 
get  out ! 

Somewhere  about  this  time,  too,  I  had  a  famous  whale 
chase. 

Going  out  the  door  one  momiug  very  early  I  saw  the 
"  weft."    They  kept  three  whale-boats  always  ready,  and  if 
a  whale  came  in  sight,  a  man  went  up  a  mast  on  a  headland 
and  waved  his  jacket,  with  a  peculiar  kind  of  cry,  for  a  sig-* 
naL    This  was  the  "  weft." 

I  saw  the  boatmen  running,  stepped  back. and  caught  my 
hat,  said  nothing  to  Roxana,  and  down  I  went.  The  boats 
were  all  full  but  one  seat  behind  the  steersman  of  the  last 
boat ;  without  a  word  I  jumped  in  and  took  the  oar.  Off 
they  pushed.  Once  we  came  near  the  whale.  ''Pull!  pull!! 
pull  1 1 1"  said  the  captain,  and  we  did  pull ;  but  the  whale 
sunk,  and  we  overran  him ;  then  we  had  a  long  chase  aftier 
him,  and  again  it  was  ^  Pull !  pull !  pull  I"  and  the  harpoon- 
er  stood  in  the  bow,  almost  near  enough — ^I  saw  over  my 
shoulder  a  boiling  pot  a  little  ahead.  I  longed  he  should 
strike  the  whale,  so  that  he  might  carry  us  instead  of  our 
chasing  him.  But  he  took  care  of  himself.  He  sunk  to  rise 
no  more,  and  we  had  the  pleasure  of  rowing  back  ten  miles. 

It  was  a  beautiful  morning.  But  what  did  your  mother 
think  ?  She  inquired  and  inquired,  till  at  last  some  one  said 
he  had  seen  the  East  Hampton  boats  going,  and  guessed  I 
was  there. 


f 


lU.  HXALTB.  12' 


CHAPTER  XX. 

nX   HSALTH. 

Ik  September,  1801, 1  went  to  Commencement  at  New 
Haven ;  Roxana  carried  the  baby.  It  was  very  hot  weath- 
er, and  after  the  exercises  we  went  to  West  Haven,  to  Uncle 
Williston's.  The  next  day  was  cold  and  blustering;  we 
rode  to  Guilford ;  I  was  chilled  through.  On  reaching  Nut- 
plains  I  felt  unwell;  cold  chills  ran  over  me ;  the  weather 
was  raw.  Went  into  the  bam,  took  a  flail,  and  threshed  to 
get  warm,  but  could  not.  Was  seized  with  bilious  remittent 
fever.  Was  sick  a  fortnight ;  mind  wandering ;  head  full 
of  politics.  The  Democrats  were  getting  the  better  of  the 
Federalists  in  New  York,  and  I  watched  it  with  great  anx- 
iety. While  the  fever  lasted  it  distressed  me  continually. 
In  about  four  weeks  we  reached  home,  and  for  some  days  I 
seemed  getting  along  well,  but  then  came  on  a  fit  of  fever 
and  ague,  and  I  was  laid  up  all  winter.  Didn't  preach  for 
nine  months.  Kept  house  till  spring,  and  didn't  much  think 
I  should  ever  go  out  again. 

C.  "  Who  preached  ?" 

Nobody.    They  had  deacon's  meeting. 

C.  "  Did  your  salary  continue  ?" 

Tes.    Nobody  thought  any  thing  against  it.    People  came 

in  and  out,  and  talked,  and  told  hunting  stories  to  cheer  mc 

up.    Old  Deacon  Tallmadge  would  come  in  and  say,  "  Well, 

you've  got  discouraged,  I  guess;  cheer  up!  cheer  up  I  esr- 

ercise !  go  out !" 

"  But  I  can't  go  out." 

F  2 


128  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

"  Oh,  well,  run  down  cellar ;  run  up  garret ;  stir  round.'* 

"  Well,  you  don't  know  any  thing  about  it,  so  I  won't  be 
angry." 

By-and-by  the  good  deacon  himself  was  down  with  the 
hypo,  and  I  went  and  said  some  of  the  same  things  he  had 
said  to  me. 

"  Oh,"  said  he,  "  stop  I  stop  1  I  never  knew  how  to  pity 
you  before  now." 

He  was  the  one  they  used  to  call  *'  the  good  deacon." 

That  winter*  my  oldest  son  was  bom.  Grandma  Footo 
was  there,  and  named  him  Williiun  Henry,  from  a  son  of 
hers  that  had  died. 

As  spring  opened,  weary  of  confinement,!  longed  to  get 
out.  One  day  I  took  my  fishing-tackle,  and  drove  to  Three- 
mile  Harbor.  Got  some  clams,  and  rowed  out  to  the  chic- 
quot  ground.  Baited  lines  and  threw  out,  and  let  the  boat 
drift.  Fish  would  strike ;  I  would  haul  them  in,  row  back, 
and  drift  again.  Easy  exercise — opening  the  chest,  and 
breathing  the  fresh  air — ^how  good  it  was  I  Caught  a  dozen 
chicquot,  from  one  to  three  pounds'  weight  apiece. 

Gained  in  this  way  till  I  could  try  gunning  instead.  Dr. 
Huntington  used  to  go  with  me.    We  were  netops — 

C.  "Netops I    What  is  that?" 

Cronies ;  though  he  was  rather  skeptical,  we  were  on 
friendly  terms ;  we  used  to  shoot  plover  together. 

Then  I  worked  at  making  turf  fences,  and  at  haying ;  my 
appetite  improved,  and  I  began  to  grow  strong.  Bought 
a  horse-cart,  and  hauled  sea-weed  from  Three-mile  Harbor 
to  mix  with  barn-yard  manure  for  com,  riding  home,  wet 
through,  on  top  of  the  load  at  night. 

*  January  15,  1802. 


ILL  HBAUB.  120 

Mr.  Seecher  to  Mr9.  JFboie. 

"May,  1802. 

^'  I  have  to-day  walked  to  meeting  and  preached  as  usual, 
except  making  one  prayer.  Dined  at  Squire  Miller's,  and 
after  meeting  walked  home,  and  am  not  more  fatigued  Chan 
used  to  be  common.  We  can  never  be  sufiBlciently  thankful 
for  so  many  mercies. 

*^  Rozana  and  children  are  welL  Catharine  tries  to  say  a 
great  many  things,  but  is  yet  pretty  backward.  William 
weighs  as  much  within  about  four  pounds  as  she  does. 

*'I  am  able  to  cut  wood.  Have  planted  my  apple-seeds, 
set  out  more  trees,  and  begun  to  plant  my  garden." 


Mine  was  the  first  orchard  in  East  Hampton.  People 
had  had  the  impression  that  &uit  would  not  do  well  so  neai* 
the  salt  water,  and  laughed  when  they  saw  me  setting  out 
trees. 

C.  E.  B.  '*  I  remember  that  nursery^  How  strange  it 
seemed  to  me,  when  I  was  a  child,  to  see  you  work  so  hard 
on  those  grafted  young  trees  that  looked  like  bare  poles  and 
stubs  covered  with  plaster." 

It  was  not  long,  however,  before  others,  seeing  how  well 
my  orchard  was  thriving,  began  to  set  out  trees.  Now  ap- 
ples are  plenty  there.  In  our  front  door-yard  your  mother 
had  flowers  and  shrubs,  and  some  of  them  are  there  yet. 
There  is  a  sno.wball  and  a  catalpa  which  she  set  out. 

Others  saw  this  and  did  the  same.  The  wood-piles  were 
cleared  away  from  the  street  in  front  of  the  houses,  and 
door-yards  made  pretty,  and  shade-trees  set  out.  And  now 
yon  will  not  find  many  places  prettier  in  summer  than  East 
Hampton. 


ISO  AUTOBIOaBAPHT. 


Mrs.  Beecher  to  her  Mother. 

"May  8, 1802. 

(4  «  «  *  ]j£j.^  Q^  ^2A  almost  well,  when  a  cold  and 
congh  seized  him,  and  then  his  old  complaint,  the  fever  and 
ague,  returned  upon  him.  He  proposes  to  take  a  journey 
as  soon  as  able,  in  hopes  that  change  of  air,  riding,  etc.,  will 
be  of  service. 

"  I  have  no  help  at  present,  not  even  my  little  black  girl. 
I  wish  exceedingly  to  have  sister  Mary  be  with  us  this  sum- 
mer, and,  if  no  better  way  presents,  she  can  come  by  Kew 
York. 

"  It  pleases  God  still  to  lay  his  chastening  hand  upon  us. 
May  we  be  led  by  it  to  a  more  diligent  consideration  of  our 
ways,  and,  though  not  for  the  present  joyous,  I  hope  the 
fruit  will  be  peace. 

"Catharine's  prattle,  and  the  smile  of  my  little  boy,  con- 
tribute to  enliven  many  a  gloomy  moment." 


Mr.  Beecher  to  Mrs.  Foote. 

"  May  23,  1802. 

"I  have  had  no  ague  for  a  fortnight,  and  am  gradually 
rising  to  my  former  state.  I  expect  Mr.  Woolworth  will 
journey  with  me  three  or  four  weeks,  probably  from  New 
London  to  Hartford,  Longmeadow,  Richmond,  and  Balls- 
ton.  If  this  should  not  restore  my  health,  I  have  thought 
of  a  fishing  voyage,  though  I  have  raised  expectations. 

"  We  know  not,  however,  the  allotments  of  Providence. 
God  may  have  determined  to  blast  all  our  hopes.  I  hope  he 
will  prepare  us  for  £Qs  holy  will,  and  cause  our  afflictions  to 
wean  us  from  this,  and  to  prepare  us  for  a  better  world. 
We  can  not  too  often  remember  that  this  is  not  our  home, 
nor  be  too  careful  to  moderate  our  attachments  to  objects 


ILL  HEALTH.  181 

below  the  sun.    Roxana  and  the  children  are  weU.    Catha- 
rine can  say  *  Grandma  Foote'  tolerably  plainly. 

'*  Jonathan  Hunting  and  Dr.  Gardner  intend  to  hire  a  boat 
to  New  Haven.  We  mean  to  engage  the  same  boat  to  stop 
at  Guilford  and  bring  over  Mary." 

To  Mrs.  Beecher. 

"New  Lebanon,  Jnne  14. 

^'At  an  inn  to  rest  and  get  dinner.  Wednesday,  after 
Mr.  Woolworth  left,  rode  to  Westfield,  and  put  up  at  the 
house  of  Rev.  Dr.  Atwater's  widow.  Thursday,  put  up  with 
Rev.  Mr.  Harrison.  Friday,  a  painful  day.  I  hope  never  to 
see  another  such.  No  appetite,  bad  road,  no  taverns.  I 
would  have  given  all  I  am  worth  to  be  at  home.  Saturday, 
rode  to  Richmond,  and  in  the  family  of  my  friend,  Polly  Ros- 
siter,  felt  myself  at  home.  Their  kindness  could  not  be  ex- 
ceeded. 

^'  Consulted  an  eminent  physician  in  Springfield,  who  con« 
sidered  my  complaint  as  resulting  from  a  bilious  habit,  and 
recommended  emetics. 

"  Kiss  the  babies.  I  can  not  think  of  them  or  you  without 
tears." 

"  Albanj,  Jnne  15. 

"  Rode  ten  miles  this  morning.  Have  consulted  two  of 
the  most  eminent  physicians,  whose  advice  is  the  same  as 
above.  One  advised  me  decidedly  by  no  means  to  try  the 
Springs  (Ballston),  the  other  as  decidedly  recommended 
them.  I  intend  to  consult  a  third  physician,  who  is  also 
eminent.  One  of  these  physicianB  told  me  my  complaints 
were  not  of  the  consumptive  kind.  I  calculate  to  be  at 
Goshen,  Ct.,  in  about  a  fortnight.'' 


I  tried  the  Springs,  to  no  purpose.    The  doctor  gave  me 


132  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

an  emetic,  the  worst  thing  possible.  On  Sabbath  I  preached 
a  sermon  on  decrees ;  made  them  all  stare ;  they  wanted  to 
have  it  printed. 

My  horse  was  taken  sick ;  swapped  him  for  another,  a 
good  horse,  up  to  any  thing ;  served  me  all  the  time  I  lived 
on  Long  Island. 

Old  Black  was  qtdte  a  character :  acute,  vidons,  bat  fast. 
They  tell  stories  of  him  in  East  Hampton  yet.  Huntington 
used  to  say  he  had  seen  him  fettered  with  a  nice  new  over- 
coat of  mine,  tied  one  sleeve  round  one  leg  and  the  other 
sleeve  round  another,  but  this  I  deny.  They  used  to  tell 
about  I  don't  know  how  many  saddles  being  dug  out  of  the 
manure  in  my  barn-yard.  There  is  not  a  grain  of  truth  in 
it.  It  is  a  &ct,  though,  that  Old  Black  would  open  gates, 
jump  fences,  make  free  with  the  neighbors'  bams,  and  come 
home  looking  as  innocent  as  if  nothing  had  happened. 

Took  passage  with  Old  Black  on  a  North  River  sloop. 
Put  up  horse,  and  went  to  Uncle  Justin  Footers,  on  Brook- 
lyn Heights,  near  where  Henry  Ward  is  now.  There  was 
no  town  there  then,  only  his  house.  Spent  two  nights. 
Sent  home  my  horse  by  the  stage-driver,  and  went  aboard 
of  a  sloop.  Reached  home  but  little  better  than  when  I 
started. 

Uncle  Justin  Foote  wrote  to  Guilford  the  day  after  I  left 
(July  16, 18(M2),  and  said  I  was  in  a  poor  way,  and  he  hoped 
^'  Gk>d  would  give  Rozana  strength  of  mind  and  body  to 
meet  the  cares  destined  for  her.''  Every  body  seemed  to 
think,  and  I  thought  myself^  that  it  was  a  gone  case  with  me. 

There  was  a  long  period  in  which  I  could  not  preach. 
Old  Mr.  Fithian  one  day  told  me  he  should  not  pay  his  rates 
any  longer  if  I  did  not  preach.  *^  What  is  the  reason,"  said 
he, "you  ministers  are  so  hungry  for  money P"  "I  don't 
know,"  said  I, "  unless  it  is  that  we  see  our  people  growing 


nX  HEALTH.  135 

coTetons  and  going  to  bell,  and  want  to  get  it  away  from 
them." 

About  September  I  began  to  preach  short  sermons,  fifteen 
minutes  long,  the  deacons  taking  the  other  services.  When 
I  finished  speaking,  my  back  and  the  cords  down  to  my 
heels  were  in  pain.  Then  I  had  a  chair  made  to  brace  me 
and  take  the  weight  off  my  feet.  Gradually  I  gained  so  that 
I  could  stand  and  preach,  but  it  was  about  a  year  first. 

It  was  not  far  from  this  time  that  my  miniature  was  taken 
by  a  traveling  artist.  You  see  it  looks  sad.  It  was  a  good 
likeness,  your  mother  said.  Woolworth  and  his  wife  said  it 
looked  as  I  did  in  the  pulpit  when  I  was  first  going  to  speak. 


136  AUTOBIOGSAPHY. 


CHAPTER  XXI. 

MABY  HUBBABD. 

Atteb  we  set  up  housekeeping,  your  mother's  younger 
sister,  Mary,  came  over  to  live  with  us.  Mary  was  like  an 
own  sister  to  me ;  I  loved  her  as  if  she  had  been  my  own 
child. 

She  was  a  beautiful  creature,  one  of  the  most  fascinating 
human  beings  I  ever  saw.  Her  smile  no  man  tsould  resist. 
Your  mother  tried  hard  to  take  a  likeness  of  her,  but,  though 
she  wa»  very  successful  with  others,  and  took  miniatures  of 
her  scholars,  your  Aunt  Esther,  and  others,  she  never  could 
take  Mary. 

Her  mind  was  well  cultivated,  not  so  strong  as  your  moth- 
er's, but  rich  in  all  that  pertains  to  belles-lettres  and  liter- 
ature. Here  her  knowledge  and  taste  were  almost  intuitive. 
Her  education  had  been  like  your  mother's,  in  the  same  cir- 
cle of  minds,  and  under  the  same  influences. 

She  was  only  about  sixteen  when  she  came  to  us,  and  had 
grown  up  in  the  quiet  retirement  of  Nutplains,  with  all  the 
pure  and  elevated  ideas  and  principles  of  a  New  England 
education. 

When  she  was  about  seventeen,  Mr.  Hubbard,  a  West  In- 
dia merchant,  saw  her  and  fell  violently  in  love  with  her. 
He  was  well  acquainted  with  the  family,  and  came  over  with 
your  Aunt  Harriet  on  a  visit  to  our  house. 

After  their  engagement,  when  she  was  about  leaving  the 
country  for  the  West  Indies,  your  mother  wrote  home  for 
another  sister,  Catharine,  to  come  over  and  take  her  place. 

They  were  married,  and  went  away.    Oh  dear !  I  never 


UABT   HUBBABD.  ISI 

can  get  over  her  being  wrecked  as  she  was.  Yon  know 
what  the  morals  of  a  slave  plantation  in  the  West  Indies 
most  be,  and  what  a  new  revelation  it  must  have  been  to 
one  brought  up  as  she  was. 

H.  B.  S.  ^'  What  she  saw  and  heard  of  slavery  filled  her 
with  constant  horror  and  loathing.  >  She  has  said  that  she 
has  often  sat  by  her  window  in  the  tropical  night,  when  all 
was  still,  and  wished  that  the  island  might  sink  in  the  ocean, 
with  all  its  sin  and  misery,  and  that  she  might  sink  with  it." 

Her  health  failed,  and  her  physician,  ascribing  it  to  the 
climate,  advised  her  return.  She  came  home  almost  in  de- 
spair, and,  in  one  of  her  letters  to  Roxana,  spoke  of  herself 
as  a  burden  to  her  friends,  and  wished  she  might  die. 

I  wrote  back  for  her  to  come  to  us ;  and  after  that,  she 
lived  with  us  most  of  the  time  while  I  staid  at  East  Hamp- 
ton. 


Mr.  JBeecher  to  Mary  Mitbbard. 

**KoTember22, 1805. 

"  I  have  just  received  and  read  your  letter,  and  some 
parts  with  emotions  which  I  can  not  describe.  If  you  are 
^a  burden'  upon  your  friends,  this  doubtless  is  a  trial  ap- 
pointed by  the  Most  High,  to  which  yen  are  to  submit  with 
Christian  resignation.  But  if,  in  reality,  there  be  no  such 
thing — if  your  society,  notwithstanding  ill  health,  is  valued 
by  every  one,  where  is  the  necessity  of  taking  up  a  cross 
which  the  providence  of  God  has  not  appointed  ?  But  grief 
is  tenacious  of  its  bitter  morsel.  You  will  not,  I  see,  admit 
the  premises,  and.  the  causes  of  your  grief  rem^n.  Now, 
dear  Mary,  let  me  talk,  and  do  you  listen  to  me  as  you  have 
sometimes  in  the  solution  of  some  knotty  point,  ezpectincr 
and  willing  to  be  convinced. 


138  AUTOBIOaRAPHY. 

^'  If  your  mother  should  sink  to  a  state  of  helplessness, 
would  it  not  be  a  delight  to  mitigate  her  sorrows  ?  Would 
her  existence  become  painfal  to  yon  ?  You  shudder  at  the 
thought.  And  are  you,  then,  so  much  better  than  this  ven- 
erable friend  ?  Are  you  made  of  finer  clay  ?  Do  your 
nerves  vibrate  so  much  easier  at  the  sound  of  woe  ?  Are 
you  filled  so  much  more  abundantly  with  the  milk  of  human 
kindness  ?  Why,  then,  must  your  temporary  sickness  of  ne- 
cessity become  a  burden  too  heavy  to  be  borne  ?  Why  may 
it  not  open  in  her  heart  the  painful  but  still  more  pleasing 
sensation  of  sympathy,  her  sensibility,  and  her  love? 

''It  may;  it  can;  it  has;  it  does.  It  is  a  fact  that  the 
child  of  feeble  constitution,  in  a  large  family,  is  most  beloved, 
and  can  not  be  spared  with  a  pang  less  acute  than  the  more 
favored  and  healthful.  We  have  then  found  one  who  does 
not  wish  you  dead. 

"But  will  you  strip  all  the  rest  of  us,  your  brothers  and 
sisters,  of  every  lineament  of  human  kindness  ?  I  can  speak 
for  one,  for  two,  from  absolute  knowledge ;  you  will  believe 
me  ?  I  declare  most  solemnly  and  affeetionately  that  you 
never  occasioned  an  anxiety  or  a  care  in  our  family  that  was 
not  more  than  doubly  compensated  by  the  pleasure  of  your 
society. 

"  While  you  possess  the  inestimable  properties  of  mind 
which  the  God  of  Nature  has  liberally  bestowed  upon  you, 
your  friendship  and  society  will  never  be  considered  by  your 
friends  as  purchased  by  too  great  sacrifice,  whatever  your 
situation  or  health  may  be.    *    *    * 

"  Live,  then,  dear  Mary,  and  if  life  be  no  pleasure  to  you, 
yet  live  to  give  comfort  to  your  friends." 


MABT  HUBBASD.  139 

J^om  Mary  Hyhhanrd. 

'<  December,  1805. 

^  I  have  jaBt  read  your  letter,  and  it  has  had  such  an  effect 

upon  me  as  reading  a  chapter  in  the  Psahns  sometimeB  will 

have  when  we  feel  oppressed  and  overcome  with  trouble.   I 

am  glad  to  find  you  so  reasonable,  so  generous,  and  so  kind. 

*        *        *        * 

^'  Bat  I  can  not  write,  and  can  only  talk  when  I  come  over, 
which  will  be  next  week,  in  Muggs's  boat.  *  *  *  While 
I  have  you  left  as  friends,  I  feel  myself  not  so  destitute  of 
comfort  as  I  have  been.  I  hope  soon  to  see  you.  Thank 
you  again  and  again  for  the  letter.  But  what  are  thanks? 
I  have  always  owed  all  my  peace  and  happiness  to  your 
kindness  and  exertions  for  me,  and  in  return  can  only  pray 
for  you  and  your  children  that  you  may  be  as  happy  as  you 
endeavored  to  make  others,  and  hereafter  experience  that 
perfect  consummation  which  is  promised  to  the  just.'' 

Mary  HvJtbard  to  Esther. 

"Jannaiy,  1806. 
^^  If  I  was  gifted  with  any  portion  of  genius,  I  might  be- 
gin my  letter  with  describing  to  you  the  loveliness  of  the 
night— a  night  in  January — a  night  in  East  Hampton.    I  am 
j  sure,  if  a  few  ^more  similar  to  this  should  occur,  I  should 

downright  turn  poet. 

*'  But,  not  to  dwell  any  longer  on  what  might  be  and  is 
not,  I  proceed  to  inform  you  that  yesterday  the  good  people 
of  this  place  thought  proper  to  put  a  final  check  upon  all  our 
projects  of  Lyman's  removing  fi*om  his  prison,*  and  he  is  as 
firmly  rooted  to  the  place  as  the  old  elm-tree  or  the  meet- 
ing-house. 

\  *  By  raising  his  salary  to  $400  per  annom. 


140  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

"I  wish,  dear  Esther,  yon  would  write  me  all  the  news. 
We  get  no  paper,  and  know  no  more  of  the  affairs  of  the 
world  than  if  we  were  not  in  it.  Here  we  are  so  still,  so 
quiet,  so  dull,  so  inactiye,  that  we  have  forgotten  but  that 
the  world  goes  on  the  same  way.  We  have  forgotten  that 
there  are  wars,  murders,  and  violence  abroad  in  the  earth ; 
that  there  are  society,  and  friendship,  and  intercourse,  and 
social  affection,  and  science,  and  pleasure,  and  life,  and  spir- 
it, and  gayety,  and  good-humor,  alive  still  among  the  sons 
of  earth.  All  here  is  the  unvaried  calm  of  a — ^frog-pond, 
without  the  music  of  it.  We  neither  laugh  nor  cry,  sing 
nor  dance,  nor  moan  nor  lament ;  but  the  man  that  took  ten 
steps  yesterday  taketh  the  same  to-day,  and  sleepeth  at 
night,  eating  as  he  is  wont  to  do  daily.  A  kind  of  torpor 
and  apathy  seems  to  prevail  over  the  face  of  things ;  and  as 
standing  water  begins  to  turn  green,  so  all  the  countenances 
you  meet  seem  to  have  contracted  the  expression  indicative 
of  the  imagitated  state  in  which  they  live.  I  wish  I  could 
procure  some  nitrous  oxyd  for  them  to  inhale  once  a  week ; 
what  do  you  suppose  would  be  the  efiect  ?  Suppose  they 
would  move  a  muscle  in  the  face  ?  Send  me  over  a  bottle. 
For  my  own  part  I  am  no  better  than  an  oyster,  and  as  it  is 
late  will  creep  into  my  shelL" 


THB  SCHOOL.  141 


CHAPTER  XXn. 

THB  SCHOOL. 

After  I  had  been  at  East  Hampton  five  or  six  years,  and 
the  family  multiplied — for,  besides  Catharine  and  William, 
now  we  had  Edward  and  Mary — our  expenses  were  so  in- 
creased that  it  became  manifest  that  something  must  be 
done.  A  school  was  the  only  thing  we  coold  think  of.  So, 
without  consulting  the  congregation,  I  advertised,  and  schol- 
ars came  from  towns  around,  and  from  Middle  Island. 

It  was  a  select  school,  and  your  mother  taught  the  high- 
er English  branches,  besides  French,  drawing,  painting,  and 
embroidery.  I  took  great  interest  in  the  school,  and  used 
to  help  about  subjects  for  composition.  The  school  pros- 
pered, and  was,  on  the  whole,  profitable. 

C.  E.  B.  "  I  remember  how  mother  and  Aunt  Mary  stud- 
ied Lavoisier's  Chemistry  together.  Chemistry  was  a  new 
science  then,  and  a  constant  subject  of  discussion.  They 
tried  a  great  many  experiments  too,  and  sometimes  with 
most  ludicrous  results.  I  also  remember  several  large  pieces 
of  embroidery  that  were  done  by  her  scholars.  Embroidery 
was  an  essential  accomplishment  then.  Mother  drew  flow- 
ers from  nature,  and  made  fine  copies  from  some  splendid 
colored  engravings  of  birds.  In  landscape  drawing  she  was 
less  successful." 

H.  B.  S.  "  Her  forte  was  drawing  likenesses  on  ivory. 
She  took  many  of  her  scholars  and  friends,  Dr.  and  Mrs. 
Woolworth,  Grandma  Foote,  and  Aunt  Esther.  There 
were  about  two  dozen  in  all,  which  used  to  be  kept  in  ^' 


142  AUTOBIOaRAPHY. 

family  as'  a  treasure  to  be  shown  us  children  when  we  were 
good. 

^^  The  one  she  took  of  Aunt  Esther  was  specially  valuable 
as  showing  how  she  looked  when  a  young  girl.  A  little 
brunette,  with  clear  olive  complexion,  keen,  piercing  hazle 
eyes,  small  aquiline  nose,  and  great  vivacity  of  expression ; 
petite  in  figure,  and  dressed  in  bright  crimson  silk,  with  low 
neck  and  bare  arms.  Her  wit  was  like  lightning,  and  some- 
times rather  too  keen.  Her  sayings  had  a  peculiar  neatness 
and  point  that  made  them  apt  to  be  repeated,  and  some- 
times gave  offense." 


Catharine  Foote  to  Mrs.  JFbote. 

**Ma7  9,lS06. 

*'I  am  very  much  pleased  with  the  school.  There  are 
five  boarders,  and  sister  expects  a  number  more.  They  are 
five  as  merry  girls  as  you  will  see  in  a  long  summer's  day. 
Sister  Roxana  has  painted  a  view  of  the  town.  It  does  not 
take  in  aU  the  public  buildings,  as  both  the  windmill  and 
the  meeting-house  are  left  out." 

Mary  Hvbbard  to  Esther, 

«*1806. 
cc    *    *    *    Roxana  and  I  spend  our  time  principally  in 

the  schoolroom.  She  continues  her  exertions  to  take  a 
likeness  of  me  yet ;  this,  with  the  care  of  the  family,  talces 
all  her  time.  We  have  three  young  ladies,  Misses  Ripley, 
Partridge,  and  Smith,  and  expect  Miss  Howell  on  Monday 
next.  Our  family  circle  is  very  agreeable,  but  we  suffer  for 
the  want  of  your  society.  I  have  no  idea  I  shall  ever  see 
you  again,  unless  you  come  where  Lyman  and  Roxana  live." 


HOUSEHOLD  &BCOLLBCIIONS.  143 


CHAPTER  XXm. 

HOUSEHOLD    BECOLLBCTIONS. 

M-om  3fis8  C.  E.  Beecher. 

'^  Deab  Bbotheb, — ^The  picture  of  father's  old  honse  at 
East  Hampton*  is,  with  slight  exceptions,  exactly  as  I  re- 
naember  it  in  childhood,  and  calls  np  many  pleasant  mem- 
ories. 

'^The  large  room  on  the  left,  as  yon  enter,  was  the  sitting- 
room,  and  behind  it  a  bedroom.  Father's  study  was  a  small 
room  on  the  right  of  the  front  entry.  The  schoolroom  was 
oyer  the  sitting-room,  and  in  the  two  chambers  opposite 
were  four  young  ladies  who  boarded  with  us.  The  cham- 
bers over  the  kitchen  and  bedroom  were  given  to  the  house- 
keeper, and  to  Zillah  and  Rachel. 

*'  We  took  our  meals  in  the  sitting-room,  and  some  of  the 
most  vivid  of  my  early  recollections  are  of  the  discussions 
between  father  and  mother  and  Aunt  Mary  at  table. 

^'They  read  the  Christian  Observer,  conducted  by  Ma- 
caulay,  Wilberforce,  Hannah  More,  etc.,  and  such  works  no- 
ticed in  it  as  they  could  procure. 

*^  An  Encyclopedia,  presented  to  Aunt  Mary  by  an  En- 
glish gentleman  whose  two  daughters  boarded  with  us,  was 
mother's  constant  resource.  Here  she  studied  perspective, 
and,  as  a  specimen  of  her  perseverance,  finding  a  problem  in 
which  there  happened  to  be  a  mistake,  she  did  not  leave  it 
till  she  had  substituted  the  true  solution. 

*  Vignette  of  Chap.  XIX. 


144  AITTOBIOQSAFHY. 

"  My  remembrsmces  of  Aunt  Mary  are  more  vivid  than 
those  of  any  other  friend  of  early  life.  The  peculiar  faculty 
of  charming,  which  seemed  to  be  her  gift,  was  exerted  as 
much  upon  children  as  on  older  people.  It  seemed  to  spring 
from  her  versatile  power  of  throwing  herself  into  sympathy 
with  any  associate  for  the  time  being.  I  was  often  her  lit- 
tle nurse  and  attendant,  and  she  secured  my  enthusiastic  de- 
votion by  the  high  appreciation  she  seemed  always  to  have 
of  my  childish  services.  She  convinced  me  that  I  alone,  of 
all  the  world,  had  the  talent  for  finding  the  new-laid  egg  in 
the  hay,  that  I  could  boil  it  exactly  to  a  moment,  and  ar- 
range the  table  and  the  chair,  and  do  every  service  as  nb 
one  else  could. 

*^Most  observing  and  most  sympathising  was  she  with  all 
the  little  half-fiedged  wants  and  ambitions  of  childhood. 
One  instance  in  point.  I  remember  my  imagination  had 
been  fired  by  hearing  her  read,  in  some  poem,  of  the  curls 
of  some  fair  heroine  dropping  on  her  book ;  and  so,  one  day, 
with  great  labor,  I  coaxed  my  hair  into  curl,  and  placed  my- 
self conspicuously  before  her,  with  the  curls  dropping  on  the 
page  of  an  open  book.  She  saw  the  artifice,  and  said,  in  her 
sweetest  tones,  ^  Oh  mother,  come  here  and  see  these  beau- 
tiful ringlets !'  ' 

*^  Even  to  this  late  hour  of  life  the  memory  of  those  kind 
tones  has  endeared  her  to  my  recollection.  It  is  but  a  speci- 
men of  a  thousand  kindly  intuitions  which  she  had  of  the 
little  wants  and  feelings  of  others  which  made  her  society, 
wherever  she  moved,  such  a  coveted  enjoyment.  She  was  a 
beautiful  reader,  and  the  poetry  of  Scott  and  Bums  are  em- 
balmed in  my  memory  in  those  charming  toaes. 

"  No  adequate  picture  of  her  lovely  face  ever  could  be 
taken,  it  was  so  mobile,  and  full  of  varying  shades  of  ex- 
pression.   She  was  the  poetry  of  my  childhood. 


HOUSEHOLD  BECOLLECnOXS.  145 

'^  Of  the  two  English  girls  before  mentioned,  Anna,  the 
elder,  was  qaiet  and  ladylike ;  Cornelia,  the  younger,  was 
lively  and  full  of  spirit.  Her  father  was  a  captain  in  the 
British  Navy,  and  she  told  his  exploits  and  sang  Rule  Bri- 
tannia with  great  enthusiasm.  She  talked  so  much  about 
her  king  and  queen  that  I  remember  it  made  me  feel  rather 
downcast  to  think  I  had  none. 

'^  Another  of  our  boarders  was  Eleanor  Lawless,  from 
Honduras,  as  wild  and  untamed  as  her  name  and  nativity 
would  indicate.  She  brought  a  piano  with  her,  the  first 
ever  seen  in  East  Hampton.  Our  house  was  thronged  with 
wondering  and  delighted  listeners.  But  Eleanor  was  too 
lawless  to  be  controlled.  She  roamed  about  the  villages 
and  shores,  wild  as  a  partridge,  keeping  the  whole  fiunily 
in  a  state  of  anxiety  about  her,  till  at  last,  there  being  no 
prospect  of  civiliang  her,  she  was  sent  back  to  her  friends. 

*'  It  was  at  this  time,  with  his  house  full  of  young  people, 
that  father's  constitutional  mirthfulness  developed  itself 
more  freely  than  ever  afterward. 

*'  He  had  learned  to  play  the  violin  while  in  college,  and 
every  day  practiced  the  liveliest  airs.  But  if  any  of  the 
girls  began  to  take  a  dancing  step,  he  would  make  the  vio- 
lin give  a  doleful  screech,  and  thus  always  ended  every  at- 
tempt to  dance.  Some  of  the  family,  very  sensitive  to  mu- 
sical defects,  were  paiticularly  annoyed  by  a  monotonous 
tUne  he  sometimes  played,  and  so,  when  they  happened  to 
be  late  in  the  morning,  he  would  station  himself  on  the 
stairs,  and  play  ovei*  and  over  this  miserable  air  till  all  the 
delinquents  made  their  appearance. 

*'  They  tell  queer  stories  now  in  East  Hampton  about  that 
violin.  They  say,  when  father  first  went  there,  the  boys 
would  gather  around  the  window  thick  as  flies  on  a  lump 
of  sugar;  and  once  he  suddenly  threw  up  the  sash,  jumped 

G 


146  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

oat,  and  chased  tbem  up  and  down  the  street,  to  the  great 
merriment  of  the  youngsters. 

"  Sometimes,  in  school-hours,  when  he  had  got  tired  writ- 
ing, he  would  come  out  of  his  study  and  go  into  the  sitting- 
room  under  the  schoolroom,  and  begin  to  play  the  violin  as 
loud  as  he  could.  Pretty  soon  he  would  hear  the  school- 
room door  open,  and  a  light  footstep  on  the  stairs.  Moth- 
er would  come  into  the  room,  quietly  walk  up  to  him  — 
not  a  word  said  by  either  of  them,  only  a  funny  twinkle  of 
the  eye — and  would  take  the  violin  out  of  his  hands,  go  up 
stairs,  and  lay  it  on  her  table  in  the  schoolroom. 

"I  remember  his  telling  the  housekeeper  one  evening 
that  he  would  be  up,  do  his  work,  and  play  a  tune  on  the 
violin  before  she  came  down.  The  next  morning  I  was 
waked  in  my  trundle-bed  by  his  rushing  into  the  sitting- 
room.  He  had  heard  a  step  overhead,  and,  seizing  his  vio- 
lin, he  succeeded  in  completing  Yankee  Doodle  and  secur- 
ing his  retreat  to  the  bedroom  before  the  old  lady  appeared. 

**  Once,  a  discussion  having  arisen  between  him  and  his 
brother  which  was  the  heavier,  they  started  for  the  scales  to 
be  weighed;  on  the  way,  in  passing  a  wood-pile,  father 
caught  up  an  iron  wedge  and  slipped  it  in  his  pocket,  and 
quietly  enjoyed  his  brother's  surprise  at  being  outweighed. 

"  Father  specially  enjoyed  a  joke  with  Aunt  Esther.  One 
evening  he  went  into  her  room  without  his  hat,  which  was 
always  among  the  missing.  After  chatting  a  while,  he  got 
up  and  pretended  to  look  for  his  hat,  asking  her  to  help  find 
it.  She  hunted  a  while,  feeling  on  all  the  chairs  and  tables, 
and  he  stood  watching  her.  At  last  she  lighted  a  lamp  and 
renewed  the  search,  till,  happening  to  look  at  his  face,  and 
seeing  its  mischievous  expression,  she  made  such  demonstra- 
tions as  sent  him  off  at  full  speed,  with  the  assurance  that 
she  would  never  look  for  his  hat  again.    Often  in  after  years, 


HOUSEHOLD  RECOIXBCnONS.  147 

Vfhen  his  hat  has  been  lost,  has  some  one  of  the  children 
been  sent  to  Aunt  Esther  with  the  message,  *  Father  has  lost 
his  hat,  and  wants  you  to  come  and  help  him  find  it.' 

"  Some  of  the  most  vivid  memories  of  early  life  are  in  con- 
nection with  the  ocean,  only  half  a  mile  from  the  house, 
whose  roar  we  could  hear  any  hour  of  day  or  night,  while 
we  could  watch  the  white  sails  from  our  windows. 

'^  Sometimes  a  storm  at  sea  would  throw  the  ocean  into 
a  wild  turmoil  while  it  was  still  and  clear  on  shore.  On  one 
such  occasion,  on  a  bright  moonlight  evening,  two  young 
gentlemen  came  and  took  the  family  down  to  the  shore  for 
a  nearer  sight  of  the  magnificent  scene.  I  was  left  behind, 
but  could  see  the  whole  ocean  rolling  and  gleaming  in  the 
moonlight  like  a  sea  of  molten  silver. 

"  Occasionally  we  children  were  allowed  to  pass  a  narrow 
plank  walk  across  a  deep  marsh  where  cranberries  grew, 
but  where  we  were  told,  if  we  stepped  off  to  get  them,  we 
should  sink  and  be  drowned  in  the  mud. 

^'  Beyond  this  we  came  to  hills  of  sand,  covered  with  beach 
plums,  and  th^n  to  the  hard  white  sand,  where  the  ocean 
broke  and  ran  up  in  ceaseless  play.  Here  we  used  to  go 
down  with  the  retreating  wave,  and  wait  till  we  saw  another 
coming  in  ready  to  break,  and  then  we  all  scampered  to  es- 
cape the  upward  flow.  Sometimes  we  were  overtaken  and 
drenched ;  and  it  was  strife  with  us  to  see  who  dared  to  go 
the  furthermost  down  to  meet  the  waves. 

"The  special  object  of  fear,  for  which  we  carefully  watch- 
ed, was  the  sea-poose,  made  by  two  waves  in  opposite  direc- 
tions meeting,  and  then  there  was  a  furious  race  of  the  wa- 
ters, sweeping  away  every  thing  in  their  return.  These 
were  rare,  and  I  never  saw  one ;  but  as  we  always  watched 
with  fear  lest  they  might  come,  it  added  much  to  the  excite- 
ment of  our  play. 


148  AUTOBIOOBAPHY. 

"  Once  I  was  taken  down  to  see  a  whale  cut  np  that  had 
been  caught  or  stranded  on  the  shore.  It  looked  like  a  vast 
space  of  red  meat,  which  the  men  cut  in  junks  and  dragged 
away. 

^<  Nothing  so  waked  my  imagination  as  the  weft^  for  which 
I  used  to  sit  and  watfb,  and  when  it  came,  and  its  strange, 
wild  notes  poured  all  over  the  town,  it  seemed  as  if  I  could 
almost  fly,  so  great  was  my  excitement. 

^*  Father  was  fond  of  hunting  the  wild  birds  along  the 
shore,  and  of  fishing.  He  once  took  William  and  Edward 
with  him  to  fish  for  eels,  and  brought  back  nearly  a  cart- 
load of  them. 

*^  Sometimes  we  all  went  after  beach  plums,  carrying  all 
the  baskets,  boxes,  and  bags  in  the  house ;  they  grow  so 
thickly  that  we  gathered  them  by  bushels ;  and  these,  with 
quinces,  were  the  common  table  sweetmeats. 

^'  As  to  family  government,  it- has  been  said  that  children 
love  best  those  that  govern  them  best.  This  was  verified 
in  our  experience.  Our  mother  was  gentle,  tender,  and 
sympathizing,  but  all  the  discipline  of  government  was  with 
father.  With  most  of  his  children,  when  quite  young,  he 
had  one,  two,  or  three  seasons  in  which  he  taught  them  that 
obedience  must  be  exact,  prompt,  and  cheerful,  and  by  a  dis- 
cipline so  severe  that  it  was  thoroughly  remembered  and 
feared.  Ever  after,  a  decided  word  of  command  was  all- 
sufficient.  The  obedience  demanded  was  to  be  speedy,  and 
without  fretting  or  frowns.  ^Mind  your  mother;  quick! 
no  crying  I  look  pleasant  !*  These  were  words  of  command 
obeyed  with  almost  military  speed  and  precision. 

^'This  method  secured  such  habits  of  prompt,  unquestion- 
ing, uncomplaining,  obedience  as  made  few  occasions  for 
discipline.  I  can  remember  but  one  in  my  own  case,  and 
but  few  in  that  of  the  younger  ones  at  East  Hampton. 


HOUSEHOLD   REPOLLECTIONS.  149 

^This  Strong  and  decided  government  was  always  at- 
tended with  overflowing  sympathy  and  love.  His  chief 
daily  recreations  were  frolics  with  his  children.  I  remem- 
ber him  more  as  a  playmate  than  in  any  other  character  dar- 
ing my  childhood.  He  was  fond  of  playing  pranks  upon 
ns,  and  trying  the  queerest  experiments  with  us,  for  his 
amusement  as  well  as  ours.  I  remember  once  he  swung  me 
out  of  the  garret  window  by  the  hands^  to  see  if  it  would 
frighten  me,  which  it  did  not  in  the  least.  Another  time,  as 
I  was  running  past  a  wash-tub,  he  tipped  my  head  into  it,  to 
see  what  I  would  do.  He  taught  me  to  catch  fish,  and  I  was 
his  constant  companion,  riding  in  his  chaise  in  my  little  chair 
to  the  villages  around,  where  he  went  to  hold  meetings. 
Gradually,  as  I  grew  older,  I  began  to  share  with  mother  in 
his  more  elevated  trains  of  thought. 

*'He  never  was  satisfied  with  his  writings  till  he  had  read 
them  over  to  mother  and  Aunt  Mary  or  Aunt  Esther.  By 
^is  intellectual  companionship  our  house  became  in  reality 
a  school  of  the  highest. kind,  in  which  he  was  all  the  while 
exerting  a  powerful  influence  upon  the  mind  and  character 
of  his  children." 


150  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 


CHAPTER  XXIV. 

XABLY    AUTHOBSHIP. 

About  this  time  I  wrote  my  sermon  on  Daeling,  that  had 
snch  a  run. 
C.  ^^  That  was  the  first  you  ever  published,  was  it  not  ?" 
It  was  the  first  that  was  much  known.    The  first  was  a 
sermon  on  the  History  of  East  Hampton,  preached  on  New 
Tear*s  day,  ISOG."' 

C.  "  What  led  you  to  preach  on  dueling  ?" 
Why,  Aaron  Burr  fought  a  duel  with  Alexander  Hamil- 
ton, and  killed  him.  There  never  was  such  a  sensation  as 
that  produced  through  the  whole  country.f  When  I  read 
about  it  in  the  paper,  a  feeling,  oi  indignation  was  roused 
within  me.  I  kept  thinking  and  thinking,  and  my  indigna- 
tion did  not  go  to  sleep.    It  kept  working  and  working, 

*  In  Prime's  ^'Histoiy  of  Long  Island,**  after  making  some  quotations, 
the  author  observes  in  a  note,  ''With  the  noble  example  of  this  sermon 
before  them,  is  it  not  a  matter  of  deep  regret  that  the  clergy  of  Long  Isl- 
and have  not  long  since  favored  the  public  with  a  detailed  history  of  their 
respective  towns  and  congregations?*' 

t  The  duel  was  forced  upon  Hamilton,  who  made  repeated  efforts  for  a 
friendly  settlement.  It  is  said  that  he  fell  mortally  wounded  on  the  very 
spot  where,  two  years  previously,  his  eldest  son,  twenty  years  old,  had  been 
shot  in  a  political  duel.  Hildreth  states  that  ''when  the  correspondence 
which  preceded  the  duel  came  to  be  published,  the  outburst  of  public  in- 
dignation against  Burr  was  tremendous.  Hd  was  charged  with  having 
practiced  pistol-shooting  for  three  months  before  the  challenge ;  with  hay- 
ing gpne  to  the  field  clothed  in  silk  as  a  partial  sort  of  armor ;  and  with 
having,  while  Hamilton  lay  on  the  bed  of  death,  mirthfully  apologized  to 
bis  intimates  for  not  having  shot  him  through  the  heart.'^ 


SARLY  AUTHOBSBIP.  151 

and  finally  I  began  to  write.  No  fanman  being  knew  what 
I  was  thinking  and  feeling,  nor  had  any  agency  in  setting 
me  at  work.  It  was  the  duel,  and  myself,  and  God,  that 
produced  that  sermon. 

I  worked  at  it,  off  and  on,  for  six  months,  and  when  it 
was  done,  without  consultation  or  advice,  I  preached  it  to 
my  own  people,  and  in  obscure  villages  on  the  north  side  of 
the  island,  to  see  how  it  would  sound.  Finally,  I  preached 
it  before  Presbytery  at  Aquebogue,  April  16, 1806. 

The  brethren  all  stared  that  I  should  venture  on  such  a 
subject  in  such  a  place,  but  they  eulogized  the  discussion, 
and  thought  it  should  be  printed. 

So  I  fell  to  work  fitting  it  for  the  press.  But,  after  all,  it 
came  very  nigh  not  being  printed ;  for,  wanting  some  one 
to  criticise  it,  and  having  no  literary  man  in  my  congrega- 
tion but  John  Lyon  Gardiner,  I  sent  it  over  to  Gardiner's 
Island  for  him  to  read  and  criticise. 

A  fortnight  after,  I  went  over.  When  I  went  into  the 
house  and  came  up  to  the  fire,  I  met  Mrs.  Gardiner ;  her  hus- 
band was  away. 

"  Have  you  found  your  sermon  ?"  said  she. 

^'^Found  it !"  said  I,  thunderstruck  at  the  question ;  ^'  I  did 
not  know  it  had  been  lost." 

"  No  ?"  said  she ;  "  but  it  is,  though."  And  then  she  told 
me  that  her  brother  John  had  been  over  about  a  week  ago, 
and  they  sent  it  by  him ;  but  he  gave  it  to  a  neighbor  to 
take  over,  who  put  it  in  his  pea-jacket  pocket.  In  the  mid- 
dle of  the  bay,  being  warm  with  rowing,  he  threw  off  his 
coat,  and  the  sermon  fell  into  the  water.  He  heard  some- 
thing splash,  as  he  afterward  recollected,  but  did  not  notice 
it  at  the  time. 

So  there  I  was.  I  supposed  all  was  gone.  I  had  all  my 
rough  sheets,  and  should  have  tried  to  regain  it,  but  it  was  a 


152  AUTOmOGBAPHY. 

doleful  prospect,  after  working  over  it  so  long,  and  reading 
all  the  finishings-off  to  Roxana,  and  Esther,  and  Mary  Hub- 
bard. So  I  went  to  Gardiner's  hands — ^he  had  some  five 
hundred  acres  of  the  island  farm,  and  thirty  or  forty  men — 
and  ^gaged  them  to  watch  the  beach,  and  see  if  any  thing 
came  ashore,  offering  five  dollars  to  the  one  that  found  it. 
^  One  day,  a  month  after,  I  was  at  home  cutting  wood,  when 
I  spied  a  fellow  running  toward  me,  swinging  something  in 
the  air,  and  grinning  so  I  could  see  his  teeth  fifteen  rods  off. 
There  was  my  sermon,  like  Moses  from  the  bulrushes.  They 
had  wrapped  it  in  paper,  and  wound  it  round  with  yam  so 
closely  that  it  was  dry  inside.  As  Providence  had  ordered 
it,  a  heavy  storm  and  high  tide  had  set  in  the  same  night 
when  it  was  lost,  and  lodged  it  high  and  dry  about  a  hund- 
red rods  from  our  landing-place,  above  high -water  mark. 
So  I  had  it  printed.  Still  it  seemed  destined  to  speedy  ob- 
livion. Its  circulation  was  at  first  local,  on  the  mere  ex- 
tremity of  Long  Island.  Besides,  some  of  my  people  were 
Democrats,  and  feared  it  might  injure  their  political  idols ; 
for  these  were  the  days  when  Democracy  was  swelling 
higher,  and  beating  more  and  more  fiercely  on  old  Feder- 
alism and  the  standing  order.  And  my  publisher  was  a  man 
of  little  capital.  However,  some  copies  strayed  to  New 
York."* 

Hooker,  of  New  York,  afterward  of  Goshen,  Connecticut, 
got  up  an  association  against  dueling,  and  called  on  Dr.  Ma- 
son to  get  his  name,  and  showed  him  this  sermon.  Imme- 
diately  his  great  mind  roused  up  and  kindled. 

"  You  are  too  feeble  in  your  beginning,"  he  said.  "  We 
have  been  too  negligent  on  the  subject.  Stop  a  little,  and  I 
will  write  a  review  of  that  sermon." 

*  «The  light  in  the  golden  candlestick  of  East  Hampton  began  to  be 
seen  afar." — ^Dr.  Bacok. 


XABLT  AUTHOBSHIP.  153 

So  the  doctor  reviewed  the  sermon,  and  drew  up  a  con- 
Btitntion,  and  publicly  recommended  the  object. 

Not  long  after,  Synod  met  at  Newark,  New  Jersey,  and  I 
brought  up  a  resolution  recommending  the  formation  of  so- 
cieties against  dueling.  I  anticipated  no  opposition.  Every 
thing  seemed  going  straight.    But  next  morning  a  strong 

reaction  was  developed,  led  by  Dr. .    The  feet  was,  a 

class  of  men  in  his  parish,  politically  affiliated  with  men  of 
dueling  principles,  went  to  him  and  said  the  thing  must  be 
stopped.  He  came  into  the  house  and  made  opposition,  and 
thereupon  others  joined,  and  it  suddenly  raised  such  a  storm 
as  I  never  was  in  before  nor  since.  The  opposition  came  up 
like  a  squall,  sudden  and  furious,  and  there  I  was,  the  thun- 
der and  lightning  right  in  my  face ;  but  I  did  not  back  out. 
When  my  turn  came,  I  rose  and  knocked  away  their  argu- 
ments, and  made  them  ludicrous.  Never  made  an  argument 
so  short,  strong,  and  pointed  in  my  life.  I  shall  never  for- 
get it.  There  was  a  large  body ;  house  fuU ;  my  opponent 
a  D.D. ;  and  I  was  only  thirty,  a  young  man  nobody  had 
ever  heard  of.  I  shall  never  forget  the  looks  of  Dr.  Miller 
after  I  began  to  let  off.  He  put  on  his  spectacles,  came 
round  till  he  got  right  opposite  to  where  I  stood,  and  there 
he  stared  at  me  with  perfect  amazement.  Oh,  I  declare  I  if 
I  did  not  switch  'em,  and  scorch  'em,  and  stamp  on  'em  I    It 

swept  all  before  it.    Dr. made  no  reply.    It  was  the 

centre  of  old  fogyism,  but  I  mowed  it  down,  and  carried  the 
vote  of  the  house. 

An  impression  was  made  that  never  ceased.  It  started  a 
series  of  efforts  that  have  affected  the  whole  Northern  mind, 
at  least ;  and  in  Jackson's  time  the  matter  canje  up  in  Con- 
gress, and  a  law  was  passed  disfranchising  a  duelist. 

And  that  was  not  the  last  of  it ;  for  when  Henry  Clay 
was  up  for  the  presidency,  the  Democrats  printed  an  edition 

02 


154  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

of  40,000  of  that  sermon,  and  scattered  them  all  over  the 
North.* 


Mstractfiom  Sermon. 

*'  When  we  intrust  life,  and  liberty,  and  property  to  the 
hands  of  men,  we  desire  some  pledge  of  their  fidelity.  But 
what  pledge  can  the  duelist  give  ?  His  religious  principle 
is  nothing ;  his  moral  principle  is  nothing.  His  honor  is  our 
only  security.  But  is  this  sufficient  ?  Are  the  temptations 
of  power  so  feeble,  are  the  public  and  private  interest  so 
inseparable,  are  the  opportunities  for  fraud  so  few,  that, 
amid  the  projects  of  ambition,  the  cravings  of  avarice,  and 
the  conflicts  of  party,  there  is  no  need  of  conscience  to  guar- 
antee the  integrity  of  rulers  ?  The  law  of  honor,  were  its 
maxims  obeyed  perfectly,  would  afford  no  security.  ♦  ♦  ♦ 
The  honor  of  a  dueling  legislator  does  not  restrain  him  in 
the  least  from  innumerable  crimes  which  affect  the  peace  of 
society.  He  may  contemn  the  Savior  of  men,  and  hate  and 
oppose  the  religion  of  his  country.  He  may  be  a  Julian  in 
bitterness,  and  by  swearing  cause  the  land  to  mourn ;  in 
passion  a  whirlwind ;  in  cruelty  to  tenants,  to  servants,  and 
to  his  family,  a  tiger.  He  may  be  a  gambler,  a  prodigal,  a 
fornicator,  an  adulterer,  a  drunkard,  a  murderer,  and  not 
violate  the  laws  of  honor.  Nay,  honor  not  only  tolerates 
crimes,  but,  in  many  instances,  it  is  the  direct  and  only  tempt- 
ation to  crime. 

^'  What  has  torn  yonder  wretches  from  the  embraces  of 
their  wives  and  children,  and  driven  them  to  the  field  of 
blood — ^to  the  confines  of  hell?    What  nerves  those  arms, 

*  **  That  sermon  has  never  ceased  to  be  a  power  in  the  politics  of  this 
conntiy.  More  than  anj  thing  else,  it  made  the  name  of  brave  old  An« 
drew  Jackson  distastefol  to  the  moral  and  religions  feeling  of  the  people* 
It  hang  like  a  millstone  on  the  neck  of  Henry  Clay.*"— Dr.  BACOir. 


BABLT   AUTHOBSHIP.  155 

rising  to  sport  with  life  and  heaven  ?  It  is  honor,  the  pledge 
of  patriotism,  the  evidence  of  rectitade.  Ah !  it  is  done. 
The  blood  streams,  and  the  victim  welters  on  the  ground. 
And  see  the  victor  coward  running  from  the  field,  and,  for  a 
few  days,  like  Cain,  a  fugitive  and  a  vagabond,  until  the  first 
burst  of  indignation  has  passed,  and  the  hand  of  Time  has 
soothed  the  outraged  sensibility  of  the  conmiunity ;  then, 
publicly,  and  as .  if  to  add  insult  to  injustice,  returning  to 
offer  hU  services  and  to  pledge  his  honor  that  your  lives  and 
yowr  rights  shall  bo  safe  in  his  hands. 

41414141 
^'  Dueling  is  a  great  national  sin.  With  the  exception  of 
a  small  section  of  the  Union,  the  whole  land  is  defiled  with 
blood.  From  the  lakes  of  the  North  to  the  plains  of  Georgia 
is  heard  the  voice  of  lamentation  and  woe — ^the  cries  of  the 
widow  and  fatherless.  This  work  of  desolation  is  perform- 
ed joften  by  men  in  office,  by  the  appointed  guardians  of  life 
and  liberty.  On  the  fioor  of  Congress  challenges  have  been 
threatened,  if  not  given,  and  thus  powder  and  ball  have 
been  introduced  as  the  auxiliaries  of  deliberation  and  argu- 
ment. Ob,  tell  it  not  in  Gath,  publish  it  not  in  the  streets 
of  Askelon !  Alius !  it  is  too  late  to  conceal  our  infamy ;  the 
sun  hath  shined  on  our  guilt,  and  the  eye  of  God,  with 
brighter  beams,  surveys  the  whole.  He  beholds,  and  He 
will  punish.  His  quiver  is  full  of  arrows ;  His  sword  is  im- 
patient of  confinement ;  ten  thousand  plagues  stand  ready 
•to  execute  His  wrath ;  conflagration,  tempest,  earthquake, 
war,  famine,  and  pestilence,  wait  His  command  only,  to 
cleanse  the  land  from  blood,  to  involve  in  one  common  ruin 
both  the  murderer  and  those 'who  tolerate  his  crimes.  Athe- 
ists may  scoff;  but  there  is  a  God — a  God  who  governs  the 
earth  in  righteousness — an  avenger  of  crimes-^tlie  support- 
er and  destroyer  of  nations ;  and  as  clay  in  the  hand  *" 


156  ATTTDBIOGAAPHY. 

the  potter,  so  are  the  nations  of  the  earth  in  the  hand  of 
God. 

c&  41  41  41  3q  j^Ql  deceived.  The  greater  our  present 
mercies  and  seeming  security,  the  greater  is  the  guilt  of  our 
rebellion,  and  the  more  certain,  swift,  and  awful  will  be  our 
calamity.  We  are  murderers,  a  nation  of  murderers,  while 
we  tolerate  and  reward  the  perpetrators  of  the  crime.  And 
shall  I  not  visit  for  these  things  f  saith  the  Lord.  Shall  not 
my  soul  be  avenged  on  such  a  nation  as  this?'' 


YOTAGB  UP  THE  KOBTH  SIVBB.  15? 


CHAPTEH  XXV. 

VOYAGE  UP  THE  NOBTH  BITEB. 

Ix  these  days  Presbytery  was  called  to  deal  with  a  cer- 
tain minister,  who  occasioned  us  much  trouble.  He  was 
shrewd,  self-taught,  ingenious,  popular,  but  intemperate  and 
immoral.  He  had  been  convicted  once,  but  had  made  con- 
fession and  been  restored. 

Afterward  new  facts  came  to  light.  I  took  a  journey  to 
New  Tork,  and  up  North  River,  on  purpose  to  obtain  evi- 
dence, and  he  went  with  me.  I  had  conducted  his  defense 
before  Presbytery.  I  found  his  old  deacon,  where  he  had 
formerly  been  settled,  who  testified  point  blank  before  his 
face,  and  said  to  him,  ^^  You  know  it  was  so  I"  He  was  si- 
lent. I  was  shocked,  almost  frightened.  I  felt  such  a  hor- 
ror of  that  man,  that  at  night  I  piled  up  the  chdrs  and  ta- 
bles aganist  my  door.  I  did  not  know  but  he  might  mur- 
der me. 

The  result  was,  we  suspended  him.  But  it  cost  us  much 
time  and  trouble.  It  was  an  exceedingly  severe  thing ;  a 
theme  of  prayer  on  the  Sabbath  for  nearly  two  years ;  the 
Church  where  he  was  settled  divided  and  distressed.  I  used 
to  say  that  his  friends  were  so  committed  that,  if  he  had 
broken  the  seventh  commandment  at  noonday  i|i  the  public 
square,  they  would  not  have  given  up. 

This  was  the  first  beginning  of  my  interest  in  presbyterial 
tactics,  and,  considering  what  a  hetcheling  I  was  to  have  in 
my  old  age,  it  was  well  enough  to  be  posted  up  in  season. 


158  AUTOBIOGBAFHY. 

To  Mrs.  Beeclier. 

"Smithtown,  October  16, 1806. 

*-'  I  wrote  to  you  from  West  Hampton  in  great  haste,  sug- 
gesting the  reason  of  my  present  journey,  viz.,  the  import- 
ance of  the  business  to  the  Church,  the  opinion  of  the  breth- 
ren, and  my  own  conscience. 

"  You  will  not  suppose  me  insensible  to  the  difficulties  my 
absence  may  occasion  to  you.  I  have,  in  fact,  no  other  anx- 
iety. But  I  commit  you  to  the  care  of  a  faithful  God,  in 
whose  cause  I  am  engaged.  The  time  of  my  return  is  un- 
certain, but  you  know  the  ardor  with  which  I  surmount  any 
thing  short  of  impossibility,  and  may  be  assured  that  noth- 
ing shall  needlessly  delay  my  eiTand  one  moment. 

^^  I  left  West  Hampton  immediately  after  closing  my  let- 
ter to  you ;  put  up  at  Goldsmith  Davis's ;  arrived  early  next 
morning  at  Smithtown ;  bought  a  pair  of  mittens,  a  pair  of 
woolen  stockings,  borrowed  a  pocket-book,  and  received 
thirty  dollars  to  put  into  it  (from  Presbytery)  to  defray  ex- 
penses. At  noon  rode  to  Smithtown  Harbor ;  waited  for  a 
passage  until  two  o'clock;  then  rode  to  Esquire  Piatt's, 
three  miles ;  felt  quite  at  home ;  rested  well  last  night,  and 
am  now  writing  on  the  candlestool  by  the  fire,  west  side  of 
the  fireplace,  in  the  comer,  expecting  to  sail  this  afternoon 
for  New  York,  and  mail  this  there.""* 

"  New  York,  October  19. 

"  I  am  with  Mr.  Wetmore,  formerly  of  Middle  Island.  I 
have  been  over  to  the  Albany  Basin.  Find  two  or  three 
vessels  about  to  sail,  but  the  wind  is  ahead.  I  have  con- 
tracted with  brother  John  to  send  a  barrel  of  flour  by  the 
first  Sag  Harbor  packet. 

*  The  rest  of  this  letter  is  occiipied  with  the  outlines  of  subjects  for  the 
school-girls*  composltioiis. 


YOTAGX  UP  THE  NOBTH  BITICB.  159 

'^  John  can  not  find  yon  a  globe,  nor  can  I  as  yet  find  an 
Atlas.    Shall  try  afler  breakfast. 

^^  Attended  worship  Sabbath  morning  at  St.  Paul's,  where 
naught  was  needed  but  a  good  heart  and  good  preaching  to 
constitute  a  heaven  below.  The  service  of  the  Church,  and 
the  loud  song  of  praise,  is  enough  to  cause  the  tear  of  peni- 
tence to  flow,  and  the  heart  to  glow  with  rapture.  I  was 
several  times  somewhat  moved  with  their  music,  though  the 
performer,  it  is  said,  answers  to  their  late  organist  much  as 
I  should  to  a  master  upon  the  vioUn. 

^'  In  the  afternoon  I  called  on  Dr.  Miller,  and  dined  there 
in  company  with  Dr.  Pollock.  Preached  in  the  new  church 
for  Dr.  Milledoler.  Heard  Dr.  Pollock  in  the  evening,  and 
took  a  bed  with  Dr.  Miller.    What  a  string  of  Drs.  J»  ♦  ♦  ♦ 

'*  Sloop  Goshen,  on  the  North  Rirer,  40  miles  from  N.  Y.,  ) 
Taesday,  4  o'clock  F.M.,  Oct.  21, 1806.  i 

"My  deab  Wife, — ^If  my  abrupt  departure  excited  the 
shadow  of  a  suspicion  that  I  was  insensible  to  your  welfare^ 
I  trust  the  arrival  of  sheet  after  sheet,  all  compactly  writ- 
ten, will  allay  apprehension,  and  prove  that  no  object  is  so 
dear  to  me  as  yourself,  and  no  employment  so  pleasing  as 
thinking  about  you  and  writing  to  you.  I  know  not  how 
otherwise  I  should  have  worn  away  the  hours  of  this  calm, 
inauspicious  day.  But  your  image,  and  that  of  my  dear 
children  rising  before  me,  can  cause  my  heart  to  leap  in  any 
situation.  I  left  Kew  York  yesterday  with  a  head  wind. 
The  passengers  are  decent  and  civil.  We  attended  social 
prayer  last  evening  before  retiring  to  rest.  We  are  now 
overtaken  with  a  favoring  southerly  breeze." 

*' Wednesday,  22, 1806. 

"At  Newburg  I  called  on  your  friend  Jane  W ,  but 

found  that  she  was  in  New  York.    They  inquired  how  you 
did,  and  whether  Mr.  Beecher  had  regained  his  health.  I  toir 


160  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

them  my  name,  and  they  invited  me  to  stay  and  take  tea.    I 
was  presently  introdaced  to  Mrs.  S        ,  and  soon  after  to 

Mr.  S ,    *  To  be  sure,'  said  I  to  myself,  *  I  am  «n  object 

of  cariosity,  and  they  are  all  determined  to  see  me.'    Mrs. 

S was  quite  sociable  from  the  beginning,  and  with  them 

all  I  got  on  swimmingly,  being  in  quite  a  good-natured,  talk- 
ing mood.    Mr.  S and  I  afterward  entered  the  field  of 

politics,  and  talked  with  mutual  complacency  till  my  de- 
parture." ^ 

*'Po*keq>sie,  Thnnday,  Oct.  23, 1806. 
^*  Floated  a  little  way  by  aid  of  the  tide  and  a  &int 
breeze.'' 

"Friday,  24, 1806. 

*^  Wind  fresh  and  directly  ahead.  Not  probable  we  shall 
reach  Albany  before  Saturday.  How  much  do  I  regret  my 
absence  from  my  people,  my  family,  my  school  I" 

«  Albany,  Monday,  Oct  27. 

'^Arrived  yesterday  noon.  Heard  Mr. Romaine. preach 
in  the  evening.  Called  and  spent  the  remainder  of  the  day 
with  him.  Found  him  to  be  pious,  sensible,  agreeable,  and 
an  enemy  to  new  divinity.  I  seemed  to  admit  his  objections 
in  part,  but  candidly  told  him  that,  afl^r  abating  what  I  con- 
sidered the  imprudencies  of  some  writers,  I  was  a  friend  to 
Hopkinsianism.  We  immediately  entered  on  the  subject, 
and  traveled  over  a  considerable  part  of  it,  he  stating  diffi- 
culties to  my  scheme,  and  I  also  to  his.  The  result  was,  that 
he  admitted,  when  properly  explained,  all  I  wished.  The 
evening  was  most  agreeably  spent  to  me,  and  I  believe  he 
was  not  displeased^" 


BABYBST.  161 


CHAPTER  XXVI. 

HABVEST. 

About  this  time  I  went  with  Dr.  Woolworth  to  Newark, 
New  Jersey,  to  attend  the  meeting  of  the  General  Assem- 
bly. We  had  heard  that  there  was  some  interest  in  Dr. 
Griffin's  church  there,  and  it  was  a  time  of  revivals  through 
the  bounds  of  Synod. 

We  called  on  the  doctor,  and  he  marched  into  the  parlor 
big  as  Polyphemus.  "  How  is  it  with  you.  Brother  Grif- 
fin?" said  Woolworth ;  "  I  hear  there  are  good  things  among 
you  here."  He  swelled  with  emotion,  and  his  strong  frame 
shook,  and  the  tears  rolled  down  his  cheeks.  *'  Thank  God !" 
said  he,  ^'  I  can  pray  once  more." 

As  we  conversed,  and  afterward  as  we  mixed  in  the  meet- 
ings, the  fire  caught  in  our  bosoms.  We  felt  sad  in  looking 
back  on  the  darkness  in  our  parishes.  We  conferred  to- 
gether, and  resolved  to  go  home  and  labor  for  a  revival  in 
our  churches.  We  went  home  with  the  fire  in  our  hearts 
to  labor,  but  we  felt  like  Elijah  on  Carmel,  when  there  was 
no  cloud  nor  sign  of  rain.  I  could  not  wake  up  the  Church. 
Still,  I  was  not  discouraged.  I  felt  the  revival  in  myself, 
but  it  was  long,  long  before  it  came.  I  set  up  an  evening 
meeting,  and  the  unconverted  young  people  came  more  than 
the  Church.  I  told  my  Church, "  Pm  going  to  keep  up  the 
meeting,  and,  if  ycTu  won't  come,Pll  worship  with  the  yoimg 
people  that  have  no  religion ;  they'll  have  some  soon,  unless 
I  mistake."  Finely  I  began  to  predict,  and  was  so  earnest 
and  confident  that  a  great  work  was  at  hand  that  some  of 
the  good  people  wondered.    They  made  me  think  of  hen<- 


162  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

in  the  night,  when  you  carry  a  candle  into  the  hen-roost, 
'  how  they  open  first  one  eye  and  then  the  other,  half  asleep. 
So  they  looked,  and  wondered  what  I  could  see  to  make  me 
think  there  was  to  be  a  revival.  Bat  for  some  time  there 
was  no  effect  to  any  thing  I  could  do.  I  could  not  write 
any  sermons  that  would  take  hold.  Finally  I  resolved  that 
I  would  preach  the  doctrine  of  Election.  I  knew  what  that 
doctrine  was  and  what  it  would  do.  So  I  took  for  my  text 
Eph.,  i.,  3-6,  and  went  to  work.  My  object  was  to  preach 
cut  and  thrust,  hip  and  thigh,  and  not  to  ease  off.  I  had 
been  working  a  good  part  of  a  year  with  my  heart  burn- 
ing, and  they  feeling  nothing.  Now  I  took  hold  without 
mittens. 


JExiracU  Jrom  Sermon, 

^'The  doctrine  of  Election  is  hateful  to  the  carnal  mind, 
often  willfully  perverted,  and  liable  to  be  misunderstood 
even  by  the  Christian.  But  when  rightly  understood,  it  is, 
to  all  who  love  God,  a  most  precious  and  glorious  doctrine. 

*'  It  is  a  part  of  the  counsel  of  God  which  I  have  often  as- 
serted in  occasional  observations,  but  which  I  have  never 
attempted  formally  and  at  large  to  illustrate.  I  propose, 
therefore,  at  this  time,  to  enter  upon  a  full  explanation  of 
the  subject  in  a  manner  so  plain  that  all  who  love  the  doc- 
trine, and  only  misunderstand  it,  may  be  relieved  and  com- 
forted, and  that  all  who  hate  and  oppose  it  may  see  that  they 
hate  and  oppose  the  truth,  and  are  utterly  inexcusable. 

*'  I  am  not  without  hopes,  also,  that  God  will  make  use 
of  the  doctrine  to  arouse  the  stupid,  to  awaken  the  secure, 
to  cut  off  self-righteous  hopes,  to  harrow  up  the  selfish 
hearts  of  sinners,  and  set  them  to  fightiug  against  God,  and 
that,  in  the  midst  of  their  contentions.  He  will  show  them 
their  enmity,  confound,  humble,  and  convert  them. 


HABTB8T.  163 

^' And  as  it  is  a  great,  and  difficult,  and  important  work 
that  I  have  undertaken,  so  I  desire  that  you  would  all  pray 
for  me  who  have  any  interest  at  the  throne  of  grace;  and 
as  to  such  of  my  hearers  as  unhappily  have  no  interest  at 
the  throne  of  grace,  I  desire  that  you  will  hear  attentively 
and  with  candor  what  I  have  to  say,  remembering  that,  if 
I  give  you  pain,  it  is  only  in  the  performance  of  a  necessary 
duty,  and  with  the  most  ardent  desire  that  your  sorrow  may 
be  turned  into  joy. 

*        *        *        * 

*^But  while  we  say  that  God  elected  according  to  the 
counsel  or  good  pleasure  of  His  own  will,  this  is  not  to  im- 
ply that  there  was  no  reason  why  He  took  one  and  left  an- 
other. 

"The  counsel  of  God's  will  is  always  wise  and  good.  If, 
therefore,  men  are  elected  according  to  such  counsel,  it  im- 
plies that  there  were  reasons  infinitely  wise  and  good  why 
those  whom  God  has  elected  should  be,  and  why  those 
whom  He  has  left  should  be  left.  God  has  reasons  in  each 
case ;  He  never  acts  capriciously,  never  is  wanton  or  arbi- 
trary ;  and  could  we  see  all  that  God  saw  when  He  enrolled 
the  names  of  the  elect  in  His  book,  if  we  were  holy,  we 
should  be  satisfied  that  the  reasons  were  sufficient — that  He 
had, in  this  respect,  done  all  things  well;  we  should  approve 
both  the  number  and  persons  of  the  elect,  and  see  that  it 
was  wise  and  just,  and  in  all  respects  best  that  those  whom 
God  had  selected  should  be  saved,  and  that  those  whom  He 
passed  by  should  be  left  to  their  own  way." 


This  was  on  Communion  day,  December  1 4, 1 807.  At  last 
I  had  found  something  that  took  hold.  There  was^ot  an 
eye  in  the  whole  church  but  what  glistened  like  cold  stars 
of  a  winter's  night.    The  Church  were  started  at  last.    They 


164  AUTOBIOOBAPHY. 

had  not  felt  so  much  for  a  twelvemonth.  Sinners,  too,  wore 
stirred  up,  and  there  was  winking  and  sneering.  After 
meeting  you  oould  see  them  walking  about  in  knots,  swing- 
ing their  arms,  talking,  and  threatening  ^'  they'd  never  go  to 
that  meeting  again !"  But  they  did  go,  and  the  next  time 
I  gave  them  another,  and  then  another,  and  another,  eight 
sermons  in  succession,  till  I  had  looked  at  the  subject  pret- 
ty much  on  all  sides  of  it.*  I  remember,  along  toward  the 
close  of  the  series,  I  happened  into  Dr.  Huntingdon's  office, 
and,  as  I  came  in,  with  a  most  lugubrious  air  he  said,  ^'Well, 
Beecher,  are  you  not  most  done  ?"  He  had  had  rather  a 
tough  time  of  it;  but  they  all  took  it  kindly  notwithstand- 
ing, and  the  result  was  a  revival. 

One  day  old  Deacon  Miller,  a  holy  man,  sent  for  me.  He 
was  sick  in  bed.  ^^  I  am  glad  to  see  you,"  he  said.  ^^  I  know 
how  you  feel.  You  must  not  be  discouraged.  I  lie  on  my 
bed  at  night  and  pray  for  you.  Fve  been  praying  for  all  in 
the  village.  I  begin  at  one  end,  and  go  into  the  next  house, 
and  then  into  the  next,  till  I  have  gone  round ;  and  then  I 
have  not  prayed  enough,  so  I  begin  and  go  round  again." 

I  went  home  expecting;  and  word  was  sent  up  from  the 
Springs  that  the  Lord  had  come  down  on  the  previous  Sun- 
day, and  that  a  meeting  was  appointed  for  Tuesday  evening, 
and  that  I  must  not  disappoint  them.  I  went  and  preached. 
I  saw  one  young  man  with  his  head  down.  I  wanted  to 
kxlow  if  it  was  an  arrow  of  the  Almighty.  I  came  along 
afler  sermon,  and  Md  my  hand  upon  his  head.  He  lifted 
up  his  face,  his  eyes  all  full  of  tears ;  I  saw  it  was  God. 

*  The  first  discourse  gives  the  Scripture  argument;  the  second  is  a 
practical  application  of  the  doctrine;  the  third  is  **the  Govemment  of 
God  desirable  ;'*  the  fourth  and  fifth  are  devoted  to  answering  objections ; 
the  sixth  discusses  the  relation  of  the  doctrine  of  decrees  to  free  agency 
and  moral  goremment;  the  seventh  and  eighth  answer  objections. 


UASVEST.  165 

Then  I  went  to  the  Northwest,  and  the  Lord  was  there; 
then  to  Ammigansett,  and  the  Lord  was  there ;  and  the 
flood  was  rolling  all  around. 

Oh  what  a  time  that  was !  There  were  a  hundred  con- 
verts, nearly,  who  most  of  them  stood  fast. 

Li  the  commencement  of  these  sermons  on  Election,  I  told 
you  I  made  no  attempt  to  ease  off  or  smooth  away  any 
thing. 

But  in  the  third  sermon,  written  for  the  Wednesday  even- 
ing lecture,  I  thought  I  would  curry  down.  After  all  that 
had  been  said,  I  would  show  that  it  was  desirable. 

So  I  took  for  my  text,  Matthew,  vi.,  10, "Thy  will  be  done 
in  earth  as  it  is  in  heaven,"  and  preached  the  discourse,  aft- 
erward published,  "The  Government  of  God  desirable." 


Extracts  from  Sermon. 
"The  sole  object  of  the  government  of  God,  from  begin- 
ning to  end,  is  to  express  His  benevolence.*  His  eternal  de- 
crees, of  which  so  many  are  afraid,  are  nothing  but  the  plan 
which  God  has  devised  to  express  His  benevolence,  and  to 
make  His  kingdom  as  vast  and  as  blessed  as  His  own  infinite 
goodness  desires.  It  was  to  show  His  glory,  to  express,  in 
action.  His  benevolence,  that  He  created  all  the  worlds  that 
roll,  and  rejoice,  and  speak  His  name  through  the  regions  of 
space.  It  is  to  accomplish  the  same  blessed  design  that  He 
upholds  and  governs  every  being  and  directs  every  event, 
causing  every  movement,  in  every  world,  to  fall  in  in  its 
appointed  time  and  place,  and  to  unite  in  promotiog  the 
grand  result — the  glory  of  God,  and  the  highest  good  of 
His  kingdom.  And  is  there  a  mortal  who,  from  this  great 
system  of  blessed  government^  would  wish  this  earth  to  be 
an  exception  ?  What  sort  of  beings  must  those  be  who  are 
afraid  of  a  government  administered  by  infinite  benevolence, 


166  AUTOBtOGRAPHT. 

to  express,  so  far  as  it  can  be  expressed,  the  infinite  good- 
ness of  God  ?  I  repeat  the  question,  What  kind  of  charac- 
ters must  those  be  who  feel  as  if  they  had  good  reason  to 
fear  a  government,  the  sole  object  of  which  is  to  express 
the  immeasurable  goodness  of  God  ? 

*  *  *  4e 

^*  But  if  the  Almighty  can,  and  if  He  does  govern  the  earth 
as  a  part  of  His  moral  kingdom,  is  there  any  method  of  gov- 
ernment more  safe  and  wise  than  that  which  pleases  God  ? 
Can  there  be  a  better  government  ?  We  may  safely  pray, 
then,  *  Thy  will  be  done  in  earth  as  it  is  in  heaven,'  without 
fearing  at  all  the  loss  of  moral  agency ;  for  all  the  glory  of 
Qodj  in  his  law  and  Gospel,  and  all  the  iBtemal  manifesta- 
tions of  glory  to  principalities  and  powers  in  heavenly  places- 
depend  wholly  upon  the  Jhct  that  men^  tJiough  living  under 
the  government  of  God^  and  controlled  according  to  his 
pleasure,  are  stiU  entirely  free  and  accountable  for  aU  the 
deeds  done  in  the  body.  There  could  be  no  justice  in  pun- 
ishment, iro  condescension,  no  wisdom,  no  mercy  in  the  glo- 
rious Gk)spel,  did  not  the  government  of  God,  though  ad- 
ministered according  to  His  pleasure,  include  and  insure  the 
accountable  agency  of  man. 

*        *        *        * 

"And  if  God  governs  according  to  His  pleasure.  He  will 
do  no  injustice  to  His  impenitent  enemies.  He  will  send  to 
misery  no  harmless  animals  without  souls ;  .no  mere  ma- 
chines ;  none  ^ho  have  done,  or  even  attempted  to  do  as  well 
as  they  could.  He  will  leave  to  walk  in  their  own  way  none 
who  do  not  deserve  to  be  left,  and  punish  none  for  walking 
in  it  who  did  not  walk  therein  knowingly,  deliberately,  and 
with  willful  obstinacy.  He  will  give  up  to  death  none  who 
did  not  choose  death,  and  choose  it  with  as  entire  freedom 
as  Himself  chooses  holiness,  and  who  did  not  deserve  eternal 


BABTEBT.  167 

punishment  as  truly  as  Himself  deserves  eternal  praise.  He 
will  send  to  hell  none  who  are  not  opposed  to  Him,  and  to 
holiness,  and  to  heaven ;  none  who  are  not,  by  voluntary 
sin  and  rebellion,  unfitted  for  heaven  and  fitted  for  destruc- 
tion as  eminently  as  saints  are  prepared  for  glory.  He  will 
consign  to  perdition  no  poor,  feeble,  inoffensive  beings,  sac- 
rificing one  innocent  creature  to  increase  the  happiness  of 
another.  He  will  cause  the  punishment  of  the  wicked  to 
illustrate  his  glory,  and  thus  indirectly  to  promote  the  hap- 
piness of  heaven.  But  God  will  not  illumine  heaven  with 
His  glory,  and  fill  it  with  praise,  by  sacrificing  helpless,  un- 
offending creatures  to  eternal  torment,  nor  will  He  doom  to 
perdition  one  whom  He  will  not  convince  also  that  he  de- 
serves to  go  thither.  The  justice  of  God  in  the  condemna- 
tion of  the  impenitent  will  be  as  unquestionable  as  His  in- 
finite mercy  will  be  in  the  salvation  of  the  redeemed. 

*        *  «        « 

^'  It  seems  to  be  the  imagination  of  some  that  the  king- 
dom of  darkness  will  be  as  populous  as  the  kingdom  of  light, 
and  that  happiness  and  misery,  of  equal  dimensions,  will  ex- 
pand, side  by  side,  to  all  eternity.  But,  blessed  be  God,  it 
is  a  mere  imagination,  totally  unsupported  by  reason  or  rev- 
elation. Who  ever  heard  of  a  prison  that  occupied  one  half 
of  the  territories  of  a  kingdom,  and  who  can  believe  that  the 
universe,  which  was  called  into  being,  and  is  upheld  and 
governed  to  express  the  goodness  of  God,  will  contain  as 
much  misery  as  happiness  ?  How  could  the  government  of 
God  be  celebrated  with  such  raptures  in  heaven,  if  it  filled 
with  disqiay  and  ruin  half  the  universe  I  How  vast  soever, 
therefore,  the  kingdom  of  darkness  may  be,  in  itself  consid- 
ered, it  is  certainly  nothing  but  the  prison  of  the  universe, 
and  small  compared  to  the  realms  of  light  and  glory.  The 
misery  of  that  unholy  community,  whose  exile  from  heaven 


168  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

is  as  Tolantaiy  as  it  is  just,  when  the  eye  is  fixed  upon  that 
only,  fills  the  soul  with  trembling;  but  when,  from  this 
dreadfal  exhibition  of  sin  and  display  of  justice,  we  raise  the 
adoring  eye  to  Qod,  reigning  throughout  His  boundless  do- 
minions, and  rejoicing  in  their  joy,  the  world  of  misery 
shrinks  to  a  point,  and  the  wailings  of  the  miserable  die 
away,  and  are  lost  in  the  song  of  praise." 


This  sermon  assuaged  the  excited  feelings  of  many  minds, 
and  did  much  good.  Afterward  I  took  it  along  with  me  to 
Kewark,  and  preached  it  before  Synod  in  October,  1808.  It 
was  well  received,  and  soon  after  published,  and  went  un- 
precedentedly.  It  had  a  run  through  the  Calvinistio  world, 
and  also  with  many  who  called  themselves  Arminians. 

I  never  heard  that  sermon  complained  of — oh  yes,  old 
Dr.  Emmons  complained  of  it ;  said  I  explained  the  doctrine 
of  unconditional  submission  to  his  satisfaction,  and  then 
turned  round  and  kicked  it  over. 

"  Not  willing  to  be  damned  ?"  said  he ;  "  not  willing  to 
be  damned,  and  yet  willing  God  should  dispose  of  me  for- 
ever, just  as  He  pleases,  and  yet,  not  willing  to  be  damned  ? 
That  is  setting  it  up,  and  then  turning  round  and  knocking 
it  down  again.  A  man  ought  to  be  ashamed  to  talk  in  that 
way."  I  sent  my  compliments,  and  told  him  that  if  all  ho 
meant  by  unconditional  submission  was  a  willingness  that 
God  should  dispose  of  all  beings  according  to  His  pleasure, 
as  I  had  stated  it  in  my  sermon,  then  fie  ought  to  be  ashamed 
for  putting  it  in  such  a  shape  that  ninety-nme  in  a  hundred 
would  be  sure  to  misunderstand  what  he  meant. 

O.  *^  I  suppose  you  called  yourself  a  Hopkinsian  in  those 
days,  did  you  not?" 

"I  never  carried  his  views  out  to  an  extreme ;  therefore  I 
had  the  Old  School  against  me  on  one  side,  and  the  ultra 


169 

Hopkinsians  and  Emmonites  on  the  other.  When  I  first 
came  to  Boston,  nobody  seemed  to  have  an  idea  that  there 
was  any  thing  bat  what  God  had  locked  up  and  frozen  from 
all  eternity.  The  bottom  of  accountability  had  fallen  out. 
My  first  business  was  to  put  it  in  again.* 

*  '*  A  critical  eye,  familiar  with  the  theological  discussions  which  com- 
menced twenty  years  later,  and  in  which  he  was  charged  with  having 
swerved  from  certain  human  standards,  discovers  in  that  discourse  the 
identical  body  of  thought  which  he  had  learned  from  the  New  England 
divines  of  the  preceding  age,  and  from  his  own  great  teacher,  Dwight. 
Tet  in  that  body  of  thought^  and  inseparable  from  it,  the  same  critical  eye 
may  discern,  unequivocally,  the  germs,  if  not  the  developed  ideas,  of  that 
*New  School  theology*  (so  called)  for  which  he  was  afterward  denounced 
by  men  who  pretended  to  a  higher  orthodoxy.  *  •  *  Well  worthy  is 
that  sermon  to  be  ranked  with  the  greatest  sermons  of  the  elder  Edwards, 
which  it  resembles  in  its  solid  masdveness  of  thought  and  in  its  terrible 
earnestness,  while  it  excels  them  in  a  certain  power  of  condensed  expres- 
sion which  often  makes  a  sentence  strike  like  a  thunderbolt.*'— Dr.  Bacoh. 

H 


170  AUTOBIOaBAPHY. 


CHAPTER  XXVn. 

CATHOLICITY. 

It  is  proposed  in  the  present  chapter  to  give  two  letters, 
illustrative  of  the  liberality  of  feeling  and  singular  tact  which 
ever  characterized  Dr.  Beecher's  intercourse  with  those  of 
other  denominations.  , 

'*  SmithtoWD,  L.  I.,  Februaiy  24, 1863. 

^'Bev.Chables  Bkechsb, — ^I  have,  at  times,  related  the 
following  anecdote,  as  illustrative  of  the  prudence  and  sa- 
gacity of  the  late  Dr.  Beecher.  An  acquaintance  of  mine 
lately  repeated  it  to  Rev.  H.Ward  Beecher,  who  requested 
that  I  should  communicate  it  to  you.  At  the  time  of  its  oc- 
currence I  was  a  lad  at  school  at  East  Hampton. 

^'In  the  year  1806  or  1807,  one  pleasant  afternoon,  there 
was  seen  entering  the  village  of  East  Hampton,  at  the  south 
end,  and  progressing  steadily  through  the  street  to  the  north 
end,  a  horse  and  chaise,  conveying  a  single  gentleman,  whose 
broad-brimmed  hat  and  straight-collared  coat  would  have 
indicated  the  Quaker  but  for  the  color — that  was  black. 

^'The  chaise,  horse,  and  man  were  all  strangers.  They 
stopped  at  the  house  of  a  member  of  the  Church,  who  was 
regarded  as  somewhat  disaffected  toward  his  brethren.  It 
was  soon  noised  abroad  that  the  stranger  was  a  Methodist 
preacher,  and  had  come  to '  hold  meetings.* 

'^At  that  time  the  proselyting  zeal  of  the  Methodists 
was  most  intense.  Their  inroads  upon  Presbyterian  con- 
gregations were  most  alarming.  Their  efforts  were  gener- 
ally met  by  sturdy  opposition  and  denunciation. 

*'  The  deacons  in  East  Hampton  partook  of  the  alarm. 
They  came  together,  went  to  the  house  of  Mr.  (not  then 


CATHOLICITY.  171 

Dr.)  Beecher,  foaod  him  in  his  study,  all  nnconscious  of  the 
impending  calamity,  and  told  the  st6ry.  Mr.  Beecher  rose, 
took  his  hat,  lefl  the  deacons  to  take  care  of  themselves, 
went  directly  to  the  house  ndiere  the  stranger  was — enter- 
ing, walked  up  to  him,  and,  taking  him  by  the  hand,  said, 

^^  *'  Sir,  I  understand  that  you  are  a  preacher  of  the  Gos- 
pel.' " 

"  'Why,  yes,'  was  the  reply,  *that  is  my  calling.' 

«( « Well,'  said  Mr.  Beecher, '  I  am  the  minister  of  this  peo- 
ple, and  I  claim  it  as  my  privilege  to  entertain  all  my  breth- 
ren in  the  ministry  who  come  here.  Come,  brother,  go  with 
me,  and  make  my  house  your  home  while  you  stay  with  us. 
And  you  mustprecuA  to  my  people.  We  will  have  the  bell 
rung,  and  you  shall  preach  this  evening.' 

''  Such  flattering  hospitality  was,  of  course,  resistless.  He 
went  with  Mr.  Beecher ;  the  bell  was  rung.  At  the  proper 
time  Mr.  Beecher  and  the  preacher  entered  the  church,  and 
took  their  places  in  the  deacon's  seat. 

''He  was  one  Ames,  then  stationed  in  the  western  part  of 
the  county,  and  there  regarded  as  a  pure  specimen  of  the 
roaring,  ranting,  shouting  class  of  preachers,  whose  boast 
was  that  they  did  not  premeditate  what  they  should  say, 
but  spoke  as  the  Spirit  gave  them  utterance. 

''  The  dim  light  from  a  few  tallow  candles,  the  audience 
scattered  among  the  high-sided  square  pews,  interspersed 
with  white  headsf  and* Mr.  Beecher  at  his  side,  awoke  but 
little  of  his  wonted  enthusiasm.  He  got  through,  however, 
but  held  no  more  meetings. 

"  The  next  morning  the  same  style  of  traveling  was  seen 
in  the  street,  only  in  the  reverse  direction ;  and  I  believe 
that  while  Mr.  Beecher  remained  at  East  Hampton  he  re- 
ceived no  more  assistance  from  his  Methodist  brethren. 

"  Tours,  etc.,  W.  P.  BupFErr." 


1?2  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

■ 

Mr.  JSeecher  to  Mary  JSubbard. 

*<  East  Hampton,  Angnst  8, 1608. 

^'  Deas  Mabt, — ^It  gives  me  much  satisfaction  to  leani 
that  your  health  is  improved,  and  that  you  are  so  agreeably 
and  usefully  employed  at  New  Haven.  We  could  very 
much  wish  especially  to  read  that  same  Bishop  Wilson,  who, 
from  your  account,  if  not  the  best  man,  was,  I  have  no  doubt, 
one  of  the  best  who  have  lived  to  bless  the  Church  and  the 
world.  It  gives  me  pleasure  to  perceive,  as-I  think  I  do, 
your  increasing  complacency  in  real  reli^on.  It  gives  me 
no  pain  to  perceive,  also,  a  corresponding  attachment  to  the 
writers,  articles,  and  services  of  your  Church,  as  no  one,  not 
an  Episcopalian  in  sentiment,  and  especially  no  minister,  es- 
teems them  more  highly  than  I  do.  It  is  only  necessary 
carefully  to  watch  and  pray  that  a  full  persuasion  in  your 
own  way  may  not  damp  your  charity,  nor  inspire  contempt 
for  other  denominations  of  Christians,  equally  persuaded, 
pleased,  and  edified  in  their  own  way.  It  is  necessary  to 
watch  and  pray,  because  the  heart  is  deceitful  above  all 
things;  because  the  sin  of  uncharitableness  is  the  easily  be- 
setting sin  of  Christians ;  and  because  it  is  possible  you  may, 
without  suspecting  it,  be  in  the  way  of  temptation ;  and  be- 
cause, dear  sister,  if  such  a  spirit  should  take  possession  of 
your  heart,  you  can  easily  foresee  it  would  diminish  your 
complacency  in  friends  whom,  I  doubt  ffiot,  you  love,  and 
whose  love  you  would  not  willingly  sacrifice.  Here  is  the 
secret  of  Christian  charity.  Allow,  with  entire  good  will, 
your  friends,  in  some  points,  to  differ  from  you,  and  they,  in 
return,  with  equal  charity,  will  permit  you  to  differ  from 
them. 

'^  But  assert  your  own  exclusive  claims,  and  the  more  you 
insist  upon  concession  the  more  tenaciously  will  it  be  re- 


catholiceAt.  1^8 

fused.  Nay,  not  content  with  mere  self-defense,  war,  in 
turn,  will  be  carried  into  your  own  territories,  and  you  will 
be  summoned  sternly  to  surrender  many  a  fortress  which 
before  you  was  freely  allowed  to  hold  in  peace. 

«<Upon  these  terms  of  mutual  charity,  I  think,  we  have 
hitherto  lived  very  comfortably,  and,  I  trust,  we  have  too 
much  knowledge  of  our  own  frailty  to  risk,  at  this  time  of 
day,  a  controversial  experiment  full  as  hazardous  to  friend- 
ship as  the  embargo  experiment  is  to  Jeffersonian  popularity. 

*'  By  this  time,  I  conclude,  you  will  begin  to  wonder  what 
all  this  means.  The  following  extracts  from  your  letter  to 
brother  Samuel  have  somehow,  I  confess,  originated  the 
preceding  reflections. 

'*  *  As  to  what  you  say  respecting  your  becoming  a  Deist, 
I  suppose  it  was  only  playfulness ;  but  I  am  half  afraid  it 
may  finally  be  a  sober  reality,  and  I  therefore  pray  you  to 
avoid  all  subjects  that  are,  religious  it  must  not  be  called, 
but  Calvinistio.  Do  not  turn  bltie  nor  deistical.  Let  none 
of  these  things  move  thee.  We  have  leaming  and  truth  on 
our  side.' 

«« Indeed,  Sister  Mary,  I  had  always  thought  that  you,  and 
Roxana,  and  myself  were  on  the  same  side.  But  now,  if  I 
did  not  suppose  this  only  ^  playfulness,'  I  should  be  *  half 
afraid'  that  you  were  standing  even  now  on  the  *  perilous 
edge  of  battle,'  and  that  finally  you  would  come  to  miscon- 
ceive and  feel,  in  respect  to  Calvinism  and  certain  Calvinistic 
friends,  as  you  once  supposed  them  to  misconceive  and  feel ; 
and  therefore  I  pray  you  to  avoid  all  subjects  of  conversa- 
tion that  are,  religious  it  must  not  be  called,  but  anti-Calvin- 
istio. 

^^  The  tendency  of  those  doctrines  of  the  Bible  called '  Cal- 
vinistic' to  infidelity  and  licentiousness  is  an  objection  which 
has  ever  been  urged,  and  many  pious  people,  who,  like  your^ 


174  AUl^BIOOBAPHY. 

self,  believe  them,  have  been  needlessly  afraid  on  this  sub- 
ject. But  facts  in  every  age  have  proved  the  imputation 
nnfoonded. 

^'  Infidels  are  not  more  namerous,  nor  are  the  people  more 
immoral  where  Calvinism  is  preached  than  where  it  is  fear- 
ed as  the  greatest  heresy.  Indeed,  the  superior  and  need- 
less scrupulosity  of  the  Puritans  has  often,  to  pe6ple  of  more 
liberal  ideas  in  religion^  been  a  subject  of  ridicule. 

«« Many  Deists,  to  my  knowledge,  and  some  of  them  men 
of  first-rate  talents,  have  been  converted  to  Christ  under 
Calvinistic  preaching,  and  cordially  adopted  the  peculiarities 
of  the  system.  But  Calvinism  has  been  perverted,  there  can 
be  no  doubt,  and  so  has  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity  and 
every  other  Scripture  doctrine ;  but  because  men  will  de- 
stroy themselves  if  you  unsheath  the  sword  of  the  Spirit, 
must  it  therefore  forever  rust  in  its  scabbard? 

^' If  you  will  read  in  the  Connecticut  Magazine  the  letter 
of  Mr.  Huntingdon,  of  Litchfield,  giving  an  account  of  the 
revival  in  that  place,  and  also  the  correspondence  of  Judge 
Reeve  and  Judge  Boudinot,it  will  perhaps  convince  you  that 
the  doctrine  of  divine  sovereignty  is  not  a  dangerous  or  un- 
comfortable doctrine. 

^^  Since  writing  the  above,  I  have  had  the  pleasure  to  read 
your  letter  to  Boxana,  and  feel  additional  pleasure  in  your 
happiness,  especially  in  good  company  and  agreeable  au- 
thors. 

"  Thank  you  for  your  brief  review  and  description  of  Han- 
nah More.  I  love  her  better  than  ever.  Am  glad  she  is  so 
good  a  Churchriooman,  As  I  have  nothing  more  at  heart, 
I  hope,  than  the  building  up  the  Church,  it  gives  me  pleas- 
ure to  welcome  able  and  active  members  into  the  sacred 
indosure.  Am  pleased,  also,  that  Uncle  Hubbard  hath  at 
length  found  a  medium  through  which  to  see  the  beauties 


cATHOUomr.  175 

of  Hannah  More.  There  is  one  other  book  reviewed  in  the 
^  Christian  Observer'  which  I  wbh  much  to  see ;  it  is  Over- 
ton's 'True  Churchman.'  It  is  owned, I  believe, by  Judge 
Chauncey,  and  perhaps  by  Dr.  Dwight ;  but,  seeing  I  can 
not  obtain  it,  will  you  do  me  the  favor  to  borrow  the  book, 
read  it  yourself,  and  give  me  some  account  of  it?"    *    *   * 


176  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 


/ 


CHAPTER  XXVni. 

MONTAUK. 

Thsbb  were  some  Indians  in  my  parish  of  the  Montauk 
tribe,  though  not  belonging  to  mj  congregation.  They  had 
missionaries  among  them,  who  were  supplied  from  New  En- 
gland. I  used  to  go,  however,  twice  a  year  at  least,  and 
preach  to  them.  I  was  acquainted  with  a  number  of  pious 
ones,  chiefly  women — about  a  dozen  at  first.  They  made 
baskets,  l^rooms,  and  such  things.  But  they  were  a  wretch- 
ed set  on  the  whole,  just  like  other  tribes,  running  out  by 
being  cheated  and  abused.  That's  a  heavy  account  at  the 
day  of  judgment ! 

There  was  a  pious  squaw  who  used  to  come  up  when  we 
were  killing  things  before  Thanksgiving,  and  gather  up  of- 
fals, liver,  lights,  etc.  She  was  picking  round  Colonel  Gardi- 
ner's barn.  "  Come  here,  Betty,"  says  Colonel  Gardiner,  and 
packed  her  basket  full  of  good  solid  meat,  and  handed  it  to 
her.  She  looked  up  in  silent  astonishment ;  could  not  be- 
lieve her  eyes,  or  understand  what  it  meant.  At  last  she 
lifted  up  her  hands  and  sud,  ^^  Thank  the  Lord  for  giving 
me  this  meat  I    Thank  you,  too.  Colonel  Gardiner." 

That  was  as  orthodox  as  a  minister  could  have  said.  She 
understood  the  doctrine  of  second  causes. 

It  is  related  of  this  woman  that,  just  before  another 
Thanksgiving  one  year,  she  stood  on  the  brow  of  the  hill 
that  descends  to  Napaug  beach,  almost  on  the  precipice, 
and  saw  a  flock  of  brant  coming  just  over  the  foot  of  the 
hill,  crossing  to  the  ocean.  ^^  Oh,"  said  she,  ^'  that  the  Lord 
would  give  me  one  of  those  brant  to  keep  Thanksgiving 


MOirrAUK.  177 

day !"  And  immediately  a  duck-hawk  darted  from  a  tree 
on  the  rising  ground,  and  flew  into  the  flock,  and  struck  one 
of  the  brant  dead.  It  is  a  kind  of  hawk  that  kills  by  the 
stroke,  knocking  the  breath  out  of  the  body.  The  bird  fell 
not  far  dbtant,  and  she  went  and  picked  it  up,  fully  believ- 
ing that  God  sent  it  her  for  a  Thanksgiving  dinner. 

My  spirit  was  greatly  stirred  by  the  treatment  of  these 
Indians  by  some  unprincipled  persons,  especially  their  sell- 
ing them  rum.  There  was  a  grog-seller  in  our  neighbor- 
hood, who  drank  himself,  and  corrupted  others.  He  always 
kept  his  jug  under  the  bed,  to  drink  in  the  night,  till  he  was 
choked  off  by  death.  He  would  go  down  with  his  barrel  of 
whisky  in  a  wagon  to  the  Indians,  and  get  them  tipsy,  and 
bring  them  in  debt ;  he  would  get  all  their  com,  and  bring 
it  back  in  his  wagon ;  in  fact,  he  stripped  them.  Then  in 
winter  they  must  come  up  twenty  miles,  buy  their  own  corn, 
and  pack  it  home  on  their  shoulders,  or  starve.  Oh,  it  was 
horrible — ^horrible  I  It  burned  and  burned  in  my  mind,  and 
I  swore  a  deep  oath  to  God  that  it  shouldn't  be  so. 

H.  B.  S.  '^Father,  you  began  to  be  a  reformer  ia  those 
days.'* 

I  didn't  set  up  for  a  reformer  any  more  than  this:  when 
I  saw  a  rattlesnake  in  my  path  I  would  smite  it.  I  talked 
to  my  deacons  about  it,  and  with  people,  and  roused  public 
feeling. 

I  had  read  Rush  on  Intemperance,  and  the  *'  Christian  Ob- 
server" contained  accounts  of  efforts  in  London  to  repress 
immorality,  drunkenness,  and  Sabbath-breaking.  All  these 
fermented  in  my  mind ;  and  while  I  was  at  East  Hampton, 
I  blocked  out  and  preached  a  sermon,  that  I  afterward  re- 
wrote and  published,  on  a  Reformation  of  Morals.    That  is 

the  way  that  sermon  came  to  be  written, 

H2 


178  AUTOBIOOBATHT. 


CHAPTER  XXIX. 

BESOLVXS  TO  LBAVE  EAST  HAMPTON. 

In  the  beginning  of  this  year  (1809)  we  lost  a  child,  my 
first  bereavement.  I  had  lost  Aunt  Benton,  who  seemed 
like  a  mother,  bat  this  was  a  very  different  thing.  It  was  a 
daughter,  Harriet,  bom  in  February,  who  was  seized,  when 
about  a  month  old,  with  the  hooping-cough. 

Your  mother  was  up  night  after  night,  taking  care  of  the 
child,  till  she  was  exhausted.  When  I  perceived  that  we 
could  do  nothing,  that  the  child  must  die,  I  told  Roxana  to 
lie  down  and  try  to  sleep.  She  obeyed,  and  whUe  she  slept 
the  child  died,  but  I  did  not  think  best  to  ^ake  her. 

On  waking,  there  was  no  such  thing  as  agitation.  She 
was  so  resigned  that  she  seemed  almost  happy.  I  never 
saw  such  resignation  to  God ;  it  was  her  habitual  and  only 
frame  of  mind ;  and  even  when  she  suffered  most  deeply, 
she  showed  an  entire  absence  of  sinister  motives,  and  an  en- 
tire acquiescence  in  the  Divine  will. 

After  the  child  was  laid  out,  she  looked  so  very  beautiful 
that  your  mother  took  her  pencil  and  sketched  her  likeness 
as  she  lay.  That  likeness,  a  funt  and  faded  little  thing, 
drawn  on  ivory,  is  still  preserved  as  a  precious  relic. 

Toward  the  latter  part  of  this  year  (1809)  I  visited  New 
Haven,  and  while  there  preached  for  Stuart.  It  was  a  sea- 
son of  apathy  and  general  inattention  to  reli^on,  and  he 
wanted  I  should  preach  something  to  rouse  up  the  people. 
I  showed  him  what  I  had,  and  he  picked  out  one  of  my 
sharpest  sermons  on  Election.    It  did  well  enough  among 


BESOLYBS  TO  LSAYB  EAST  HAHPTON.  179 

my  own  people,  and  in  just  those  circnmstances ;  bat  here 
the  circumstances  were  different,  and  it  had  a  bad  effect. 


Mr,  BeecJier  to  Esther. 

"December  16,1809. 

*'  Mr  BEAB  EsTHEB, — I  hope  by  this  time  the  fire  kindled 
by  my  sermon  has  been  extinguished  by  the  love  of  God 
shed  abroad  in  many  souls.  But  if  it  yet  burn  and  do  mis- 
chief, Brother  Stuart  will  not  complain  of  me,  seeing  it  was 
by  his  request  it  was  preached  once  and  again,  and  seeing 
it  brought  the  precise  effect  which  he  professed  to  desire. 
He  wanted  me  to  preach  something,  he  said,  to  '  rouse  the 
people  up,  for  they  were  going  to  sleep.*  But  were  there 
none  who  heard  but  opposers  ?  None  who  profited  by  it  as 
the  sincere  milk  of  the  Word  ? 

"  I  have  been,  since  my  return,  up  the  island  to  Presby- 
tery, a  little  beyond  Smithtown,  and  thence  to  New  York, 
and  on  to  Synod,  and  back  to  New  York.  Preached  going 
and  coming  in  the  city  (at  th6  Brick  Church),  and,  if  the 
city  clergy  were  alone  concerned,  should,  I  was  given  to  un- 
derstand, be  gladly  stationed  among  them.  But  how  the 
people  would  agree  is  so  unessential  that  I  have  not  heard 
or  inquired. 

*'I  shall,  however,  I  think,  without  doubt,  be  dismissed 
from  my  present  charge  the  next  spring.  I  can  not  rear  my 
family  upon  |400  a  year,  and  not  more  than  half  the  people 
are  willing  to  give  more,  and  are  beginning  to  discover  that 
we  have  no  sort  of  economy.  I  have  written  to  Stuart,  de- 
siring him  to  show  the  letter  to  Dr.  D  wight,  and  return  me 
their  advice. 

''  I  shall  be  commissioner  to  the  General  Assembly,  and 
shall  probably  be  at  New  Haven  on  my  return  in  June, 
should  it  please  the  Lord  to  spare  me.    In  what  part  of  the 


180  AUTOBXOGBAFHT. 

vineyard  I  shall  be  called  next  to  labor  is  to  me  utterly  un- 
known. I  have  this  comfort,  that  there  are  few  places  at 
this  day  that  give  less  than  I  receive  now ;  and  I  think  I 
have,  and  shall  have,  the  testimony  of  a  good  conscience  in 
seeking  support  for  my  family  elsewhere. 

^'  It  is  Saturday,  two  o'clock,  and  I  am  now  to  mount  my 
horse  for  Sag  Harbor  (post-office).  I  have  one  good  sermon 
fully  written,  and  twenty  in  my  head." 


C.  "  How  was  it,  father,  that  after  such  revivals  there 
could  be  any  difficulty  about  a  support  ?" 

Well*,  you  see,  the  skeptical  party,  those  that  were  not 
converted,  losing  their  influence  and  weakened,  fell  ofi;  and 
ceased  to  subscribe.  They  liked  me  well  enough,  or  would 
have  liked  me  if  they  could  have  made  capital  out  of  me ; 
but  when  they  found  they  could  not,  they  turned  against 
me.  While  I  was  in  college  I  wrote  a  whimsical  dialogue 
to  take  off  infidelity.  Infidels  ridiculed  religion ;  I  thoaght 
I  wo^ld  show  that  infidelity  was  more  exposed  to  ridicule 
than  religion.  This  dialogue  I  rewrote  somewhere  in  the 
latter  half  of  my  stay  there,  and  it  was  to  be  performed  at 
an  exhibition  in  Clinton  Academy ;  but,  lo  and  behold  I  the 
skeptics  rallied,  and  wire -worked  among  the  Democrats; 
called  a  meeting  of  the  trustees,  and  passed  a  vote  prohibit- 
ing it ! 

That  shows  how  the  thing  worked,  and  how  it  was  natu- 
ral the  skeptical  party  should  fall  off.  And  then  a  few  of 
those  who  opposed  my  settlement  were  disaffected,  just 
enough  to  paralyze  effort. 

C.  "  You  wrote  to  Mr.  Stuart ;  did  you  receive  any  an- 
swer ?" 

Why,  it's  curious,  when  I  got  to  the  post-office  at  Sag 
Harbor,  I  found  a  letter  there  from  Stuart,  saying  that  Judge 


SESOLVSS  TO  LEAVE  EAST  HAMPTON.  181 

Reeve,  of  Litchfield,  Connecticut,  had  written  to  inquire 
whether  I  would  encourage  a  call !  I  unsealed  ray  letter, 
and  added  a  postscript  saying  that  I  would  consider  one. 

You  see,  Gould,  of  the  Litchfield  Law  School,  was  my 
tutor  in  Yale ;  so  was  Sherman,  of  Fairfield ;  and  they  led 
Judge  Reeve  to  read  my  sermon  on  ''The  Government  of 
God  desirable.''  It  created  a  sensation.  ''Who  is  that 
man?"  "Why  can't  we  get  him?"  And  that  led  to  the 
negotiation. 

Mrs.  Beecher  to  Mr.  Beecher, 

•  <*  East  Hampton,  February  10, 1810. 

"Mt  deae  Fsiemd, — ^I  have  just  received  your  letter 
dated  the  7th  instant.  I  rejoice  that  you  are  enabled  to  re- 
sign all  your  concerns  into  the  hands  of  €rod,  notwithstand- 
ing that  you  seem  to  be  looking,  in  some  degree,  to  the  dark 
side  of  appearances. 

"  You  need  not  be  told  that  God  disposes  of  every  event 
in  the  best  possible  manner,  and,  I  trust,  I  feel  perfectly  will- 
ing that  he  should  dispose  of  me  and  mine  in  the  manner 
that  to  him  seems  best.  Yet  I  should  not  say  this  boast- 
fully. I  am  sensible  how  dependent  I  am  upon  the  assisting 
grace  of  God  for '  strength  to  suffer  or  for  will  to  serve,'  yet 
I  have  a  confident  hope,  amounting  perhaps  almost  to  a  firm 
persuasion,  that,  should  his  wisdom  lay  upon  us  still  severer 
trials  than  we  have  hitherto  been  called  to  bear,  his  good- 
ness will,  with  the  temptation  to  murmur,  provide  also  a  way 
to  escape,  so  that  I  shall  not  be  overcome  by  it. 

"  When  I  read  your  letter  to-night,  I  felt  disposed  to  wish 
myself  with  you,  that  I  might  endeavor  to  cheer  you  in  your 
hours  of  gloom ;  but  a  moment's  reflection  told  me  how  ut- 
terly ineffectual  any  efforts  of  mine  would  be,  unaided  by  the 
supporting  grace  of  our  heavenly  Father,  and  how  unneces- 


182  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

saiy  when  thus  supported.  To  His  grace,  therefore,  I  com- 
meud  you,  praying  Him  to  keep  you  in  all  your  ways.  I  do 
not*  at  present  see  that  you  have  done  wrong  in  the  steps 
you  have  taken  in  the  affair  of  leaving  your  people,  per- 
suaded as  I  am  of  the  reasonableness  of  your  demands,  and 
of  the  entire  ability  of  the  people  to  comply  with  them. 

"  The  very  low  estimation  which  people  appear  to  have 
of  the  blessing  of  the  Gospel  ministry  is  strikingly  exempli- 
fied when  we  compare  what  they  are  willing  to  pay  for  it 
with  what  they  are  willing  to  pay  for  their  own  gratification 
in  a  hundred  other  respects,  and  a  people  who  are  provided 
with  all  the  comforts  of  life,  and  who,  as  a  people,  pay  more 
annually  for  mere  luxuries  (tobacco,  for  instance),  ought  to 
be  willing  to  support  a  minister  so  that  he  shall  not  need  to 
be  harassed  with  worldly  cares.  And  if  a  people  are  un- 
willing to  do  this,  I  see  not  but  that  a  minister  is  justified  in 
seeking  it  elsewhere. 

"I  have  seen  very  few  persons  since  you  left  us,  and  do 
not  hear  much  said,  though  I  think  it  probable  that  people 
are  not  silent  more  than  formerly. 

^^  Sahbathi  February  11.  Deacon  Tallmadge  called  here 
to-day  on  his  way  to  church,  to  inquire  whether  you  did  not 
repent  of  what  you  had  done.  I  told  him  it  was  not  a  mat- 
ter that  had  been  resolved  on  hastily ;  that  you  had  consid- 
ered the  matter  more  fully  beforehand  than  to  change  your 
mind  so  soon.  He  said  that  some  people  hoped,  and  almost 
believed  and  expected,  you  would  yet  come  back.  I  asked 
if  people  expected  you  would  come  back  if  they  did  not  com- 
ply with  your  proposals.  He  said, '  O  no,  no.'  I  did  not 
inquire  whether  he  thought  it  probable  that  people  would 
comply  provided  there  was  any  prospect  that  you  would  re- 
turn." 


VISITS  LFTCHFISLD. — ^LXTTEBS.  183 


CHAPTER  XXX. 

VISITS  LITCHFIELD. — ^LETTEBS. 

To  Mrs.  Mote. 

"  New  Haven,  Feb.  10, 1810. 

"Deae  Mother,  —  I  set  out  for  Litchfield  to-morrow. 
Yoa  have  heard,  I  conclnde,  of  my  determination  to  leave 
my  people,  through  lack  of  support. 

^'If  I  should  not  settle  at  Litchfield,  it  is  not  improbable 
our  whole  family  may  come  to  Guilford  to  reside  through 
the  summer. 

"  I  preached  three  Sabbaths  in  New  York  for  the  Brick 
Church,  and  came  as  near  having  a  call  asthe  fellow  did  be- 
ing killed  who  came  to  the  field  the  day  after  the  battle. 

"  Give  my  love  to  my  dear  daughter  Mary,  and  tell  her 
that  her  father  means  to  come  and  see  her  about  the  last  of 
March.  With  much  affection  for  you  on  your  own  account, 
and  much  in  addition  for  giving  me  so  good  a  daughter  to 
wife,  I  am  your  dutifpl  son." 

From  Hoxana. 

**  East  Hampton,  Feb.  28, 1810. 

*'  I  rejoice  sincerely  that  your  mind  appears  to  be  in  some 
measure  relieved  of  its  load  of  cares,  or  at  least  that  you  are 
strengthened  to  bear  them.  Our  family  are  in  usual  health, 
and  matters  go  on  in  a  comfortable  manner.  The  boys 
cut  their  cedars  and  their  fingers  much  as  usual.  Edward 
has  lost  his  knife,  as  was  to  be  expected,  but  in  bis  researches 
he  has  discovered  an  old  one  of  yours,  which  I  lend  him 
upon  condition  that  he  brings  it  to  me  always  when  he  b 


184  AUTOBIOGBAPRY. 

done  with  it.  I  think  I  shall  send  them  to  school  tq  Mr. 
Parsons  next  week,  else  I  fear  they  will  make  no  proficiency 
at  all  in  your  absence.    *    *    * 

*'  The  people  here  have  had  a  parish  meeting,  and  appoint- 
ed a  committee  of  twenty-one  persons  to  attend  to  the  busi- 
ness of  obtaining  a  supply  for  the  pulpit.  Your  friends 
make  affectionate  inquiries  after  you,  and  some  say  they  do 
not  yet  relinquish  the  hope  of  your  return  and  re-establish- 
ment, though  they  see  no  prospect  of  it. 

*^  JeiTy  Tallmadge  called  to  see  me  again  the  other  day, 
and  told  me  that  Captain  Dayton  said  he  should  be  very  will- 
ing to  pay  his  proportion  of  a  thousand  dollars  a  year  pro- 
vided you  would  return,  which  I  thought  very  extraordinary 
for  a  man  of  his  character.  *  ♦  *  What  your  enemies 
say  and  do  I  know  not;  no  one  thinks  proper  to  tell  me 
any  thing  of  that. 

"  Pray  be  as  particular  in  your  communications,  and,  if 
they  seem  trifling,  recollect  the  importance  which  affection 
gives  to  trifles,  and  that  nothing  which  concerns  you  can  be 
uninteresting  to  me — how  you  feel,  how  you  look,  what  you 
say,  and  what  is  siud  to  you.  *  *  *  The  children  send 
all  the  love  to  papa  that  I  can  put  in  my  letter.  Catharine 
is  so  very  desirous  of  writing  to  you  that  it  was  with  diffi- 
culty I  could  persuade  her  it  was  not  worth  while  to  put 
you  to  the  expense  of  postage  for  her  littie  letters. 

"She  is  busily  engaged  in  painting  some  flowers  for  her 
work-basket ;  she  learns  her  geography  in  the  morning,  and 
finishes  her  knitting  in  the  evening,  in  order  to  save  time  in 
the  afternoon  for  painting.  She  is,  I  hope,  improving  in  dil- 
igence and  knowledge,  but  I  fear  I  can  not  say  the  same  of 
the  boys.  They  are  very  reluctant  to  go  to  the  Academy, 
and  promise  me  very  fair  to  be  diligent  if  they  may  stay  and 
study  at  home ;  but  they  are  not  careful  to  perform. 


yisrrs  utchtibld. — ^letiebs.  185 

'^May  you  be  guided  in  all  your  ways,  preserved  from  all 
evil,  and  returned  in  safety. 

To  Mrs.  Beecfier, 

"Litchfield,  Feb.  26, 1810. 

^'  Mt  dear  Friend, — ^How  merciful  are  the  arrangements 
of  Heaven  in  clothing  us  with  social  powers,  and  so  order- 
ing that,  amid  the  numberless  millions  that  swarm  the  earth, 
each  one  may  have  a  particular  friend  who  can  listen  with 
patience,  and  interest,  and  sympathy  to  every  complaint,  and 
rejoice  in  every  mercy.  This  reflection  has  been  suggested 
by  the  soothing  influence  of  your  letter  of  February  10, 
which  I  unexpectedly  received  last  evening  (Sabbath),  after 
the  labors  of  the  day  and  evening;  heightened,  too,  by  the 
contrast  of  total  indifference  with  which  a  hypochondriac  in 
silent  melancholy  passes  through  the  crowd  of  a  busy,  bus- 
tling city.  I  bless  the  Lord  that  he  has  given  me  a  wife,  and 
especially  that  he  hath  given  me  such  a  one  as  yourself. 

'*  I  left  New  York  on  "Monday.  My  health  and  spirits 
were  better  the  last  Sabbath  I  spent  in  New  York.  My 
voice  became  clear,  and  my  vital  strength  returned,  so  that 
I  was  able  to  fill  the  house,  and  command  a  deep  and  sol- 
emn attention.  May  the  blessing  of  God  attend  His  word. 
While  in  the  city,  I  wrote,  or  rewrote — which  is  almost  as 
much  labor — ^two  sermons  a  week.  The  style  of  city  ser- 
monizing is  so  different,  and  so  many  technical  phrases  smell 
of  new  divinity,  that  I  found  myself  destitute  of  good  ser- 
mons, and  had  no  way  left  but  to  make  them  on  the  spot.  I 
have  several  now  which,  when  written  over  several  times 
more,  will  be,  I  think,  very  good. 

'^  Mr.  Dodge  urges  me  to  complete  a  volume  as  soon  as  I 
can,  which  I  intend  to  do  if  my  life  and  health  is  spared. 

"  I  found  the  people  in  Litchfield  impatient  for  my  arrival, 


186  AUTOBIOaBAPRY. 

and  determined  to  be  pleased,  if  possible,  but  somewhat  fear- 
ful that  they  shall  not  be  able  to  persuade  me  to  stay. 

'*  The  house  yesterday  was  full,  and  the  conference  in  the 
evening,  and,  so  far  as  I  have  heard,  the  people  felt  as  I  have 
told  you  they  intended  to.  Had  the  people  in  New  York 
been  thus  predisposed,  I  think  I  should  notjiave  failed  to 
give  them  satisfaction.  My  health  is  good,  and  I  enjoy  good 
spirits  some  time  past ;  am  treated  with  great  attention  and 
politeness,  and  am  becoming  acquainted  with  agreeable  peo- 
ple." 

From  Mrs,  BeecJier. 

*<£ast  Hampton,  March  9, 1810. 

*^  If  you  have  received  my  three  last  letters  directed  to 
Litchfield,  you  can  judge  of  my  disappointment  in  not  re- 
ceiving a  lino.  I  assure  you  I  feel  myself  very  lonesome, 
and  more  than  ever  sensible  that  it  is  not  good  to  be  alone. 
I  shall,  I  fear,  grow  very  impatient  for  your  return. 

"  I  should  be  glad  to  be  informed  as  early  as  possible  as 
to  the  time  we  shall  probably  move.  I  suspect  Mr.  Hand 
will  be  desirous  to  have  us  leave  the  house  as  soon  as  we 
can.  He  has  not,  however,  said  so  to  me,  but  I  feel  in  such 
a  state  of  suspense  that  I  hardly  know  how  to  set  about  the 
things  necessary  to  be  done  previous  to  our  departure. 

''  Should  you  not  get  settled,  I  douH  know  but  we  shall  do 
well  to  put  little  Mary's  plans  into  execution  (Mary  was  five 
years  old  then),  and  go  over  and  spend  the  summer  at  Guil- 
ford. The  family  is  in  usual  health.  The  boys  go  to  school 
to  Mr.  Parsons,  and  Catharine  continues  her  studies  at  home. 

^^  It  is  past  twelve  at  night,  and  I  must  leave  you.  George 
is  just  waking,  and  will  leave  no  one  asleep  in  the  house  if 
I  do  not  take  him." 


VISITS  LITCBFIELD. — LETTESS.  187 

JFi'om  tJie  ^nie, 

*'£ast  Hampton,  March  12, 1810. 

*^  My  dear  Friend, — ^I  am  not  at  all  disappointed  at  the 
contents  of  Mr.  Dodge's  letter,  nor,  on  the  whole,  displeased. 
If  I  mistake  not,  New  York,  as  a  situation  for  a  clergyman, 
is  more  likely  to  gratify  ambition  than  add  to  real  enjoy- 
ment ;  and  ambitious  feelings  I  endeavor  to  eradicate,  and 
hope  I  in  some  measure  succeed,  at  least  so  far  as  not  to  suf- 
fer them  to  influence  my  conduct.  As  to  the  business  of 
salary,  which  you  say  is  likely  to  be  the  principal  difficulty 
at  Litchfield,  you  know  thA  it  will  not  be  best  to  settle 
down  again  without  a  reasonable  prospect  of  a  permanent 
support,  such  as  you  will  be  able  to  educate  your  cliildren 
upon ;  but  what  would  be  sufficient  for  this  I  know  not,  nor 
do  I  see  how  you  will  be  able  exactly  to  ascertain.  (You 
will  please  not  to  understand  that  I  think  it  best  not  to  set- 
tle at  all.)  The  people  of  Litchfield  have  let  go  one  minis- 
ter for  want  of  sufficient  support,  and  the  people  of  East 
Hampton  are  about  to  do  the  same.  I  know  not  how  it  may 
be  at  Litchfield,  but  the  people  here,  some  of  them  at  least, 
are  resolved  not  to  give  you  up  yet,  and  others,!  believe,  are 
resolved  not  to  comply  with  your  proposals. 

"The  idea  that  you  wished  to  go  away  is  industriously 

kept  up  and  made  the  most  of,  and  M.  D insists  that 

you  are.  a  runaway,  etc. ;  but  this  is  what  I  should  expect. 
Let  us  be  preserved  from  encouraging  any  improper  feel- 
ings, and  he  may  call  as  many  names  as  he  pleases.    ♦   ♦   ♦ 

"  Your  two  last  letters  did  not  contain  any  advice  to  your 
children ;  pray  do  not  omit  to  send  some  in  every  letter ;  it 
is  of  great  use  to  them,  and  is  also  a  very  great  gratification. 
I  read  your  first  letters  to  them,  and  they  were  extremely 
pleased,  and  would  be  glad  to  hear  them  read  every  day. 


188  AUTOBIOaBAFHT. 

To  Mrs.  Beecher. 

*<  Litchfield,  Sabbath  Eyening,  March  6, 1810. 

"  My  dbab  Fbisnd, — Both  your  letters  directed  to  this 
place  came  safe  to  hand  on  last  Sabbath  evening,  an  answer 
to  which  is  on*  the  road  to  yon  or  already  received ;  the 
other  this  evening,  after  the  labors  of  the  day  and  evening. 
They  were  both  cheering  to  my  heart  in  my  lonely  pilgrim- 
age ;  and  as  I  know  of  no  cheaper  or  greater  earthly  comforts 
than  receiving  letters  from  yon  and  writing  to  you,  I  shall 
not  begin  to  economize  in  the  article  of  postage  yet,  and 
shall  deare  that  you  will  not.  '  I  have  just  received  a  letter 
from  my  friend  Dodge,  New  York,  who  writes  as  follows : 
^Your  last  sermons  made  a  very  favorable  impression  on 
the  congregation,  and  the  elders  met  and  were  unanimous 
to  call  the  congregation.  They,  however,  thought  best  at 
first  to  have  a  joint  meeting  of  the  elders  and  trustees,  and 
two  of  the  trustees  were  so  much  opposed  that  it  influenced 
the  body  for  the  sake  of  keeping  peace,  so  that  when  the 
vote  was  taken  they  were  equally  divided,  and,  of  course, 
you  were  given  up,  an<J,  in  my  opinion,  to  the  regret  of  three 
quarters  of  the  congregation.  Probably  God  intends  you 
shall  do  more  good  with  your  pen.^ 

^^I  may  add,  perhaps  He  intends  I  shall  live  longer  than 
my  feeble  frame  could  support  the  exertion  of  speaking  and 
labor  which  would  be  consequent  upon  a  settlement  in  the 
city.  But,  for  whatever  reasons  it  has  pleased  the  Most 
High  to  order  events  as  above  stated,  I  am  satisfied.  Hith- 
erto He  hath  helped  me;  and  if  He  have  here  or  elsewhere 
any  work  for  me  to  do.  He  will  help  me  still.  As  yet  my 
labors  have  been  even  more  productive  than  if  at  home. 
They  gave  me  for  three  Sabbaths  in  N^w  York  sixty  dollars, 
which,  as  Brother  Dodge  would  receive  nothing  for  my 


TISnB  UTCHFISLD. — ^LEITBBS.  189 

board,  was  so  much  dear.  What  compensation  will  be  made 
here  I  know  not ;  but  as  yet  I  have  lost  no  time  by  sickness 
or  want  of  employ. 

^'The  people  here  treat  me  with  great  politeness,  and  I 
am  told  from  all  quarters  that  they  are  highly  pleased  and 
nniversally  united.  The  only  difficulty,  they  all  say,  is  sala- 
ry ;  but  the  influential  people  say  that  I  must  be  the  man, 
and  they  must,  in  some  shape  or  other,  make  provision  at 
any  rate. 

^' The  >  attention  to-day  has  been  very  deep  and  solemn. 
In  the  morning  I  preached  against  morality,  from  ^  Other 
foundation  can  no  man  lay ;'  and  my  host,  who  is  a  moral 
man,  says  it  must  be  true.  In  the  afternoon  I  preached  ^  Bo 
ye  steadfast,  always  abounding,'  etc. ;  and  this  evening  I 
commented,  and  preached,  and  exhorted  from  the  last  part 
of  the  first  chapter  of  Proverbs.  I  feel  some  hopes,  from  the 
appearances  of  to-day,  that  religion  is  about  to  revive  agiun 
in  this  place. 

*'  You  desire  me  to  tell  you  how  I  feel.  This  would  oc- 
cupy too  much  time  and  paper.  But  sometimes  I  feel  al- 
most sick.  My  hands  are  cold,  and  my  feet,  and  I  feel  sad- 
ly, somehow,  at  my  stomach — a  kiad  of  trembling  all  over, 
which  makes  me  apprehend  that  I  shall  not  last  long.  My 
head  becomes  quite  dull,  and  my  courage  fails,  and  I  look 
bltte  and  sheqnahy  and  sigh  sadly,  as  if  I  had  lost  all  my 
friends  and  should  never  have  any  more,  and  my  sermons 
all  become  stale  and  vapid,  and  I  feel  very  much  like  a/ooi^ 
and  if  I  were  to  go  into  company  much  at  such  times  I  pre- 
sume I  should  act  like  one.  IS  I  happen  to  be  catched  in 
company,  I  am  all  the  while  in  a  tormenting  brown  study  to 
think  what  under  the  sun  I  can  possibly  say,  and  can  not, 
for  my  life,  find  topics  to  fill  up  half  an  hour ;  so  I  dispatch 
the  weather,  etc.,  and  sit  silent  a  litUe,  and  talk  a  little,  and 
retreat  as  es^rly  as  possible. 


190  AUTOHtOO&APflY. 

^^  Sometimes^  however,  my  hands  and  feet  are  warm,  and 
my  brain  at  liberty  to  think,  and  my  tongue  loosed,  and 
then,  if  you  had  never  heard  me  before,  you  would  be  aston- 
ished, as  many  her6  are,  at  my  wisdom  and  eloquence.  Such 
a  torrent  of  ideas  and  words,  as  if  the  fountain  would  never 
be  exhausted.     Colonel  Tallmadge  has  just  arrived  from 

^  to  spend  a  few  days.     I  was  invited  to  take  tea  with 

him,  and  had  an  agreeable  evening.  He  is  polite  and  ac- 
quainted with  men,  and  his  wife  and  daughter  are  pious  and 
accomplished. 

"  There  are  many  agreeable  women  here,  but  none  so 
handsome  or  pleasing  as  to  occasion  a  momentary  wander- 
ing of  my  heart  from  the  object  where  it  ha^  so  long  and 
with  such  satisfaction  rested. 

"  There  is  a  house  for  sale  here  which  I  should  like,  shotdd 
it  please  God  to  establish  me  here.  I  am  so  weary  that  I 
must  go  to  bed,  and  get  up  early  in  the  morning  to  finish 
this  side,  for  I  aiA  so  disappointed  with  the  great  blank  you 
send  me,  and  feel  so  much  regret,  while  every  glance  shows 
me  how  soon  my  comfort  is  to  end,  that  I  can  not  willingly 
mingle  any  such  alloy  in  your  letters,  and  hope  yon  may 
profit  by  my  example  and  do  likewise. 

^''Monday  morning. ^1  have  but  a  few  moments,  just  to  tell 
you  how  I  look. 

''  Now  you  must  surely  remember  when  I  tell  you  that  I 
have  rather  a  thin,  spare  face,  a  great  nose,  and  blue  eyes ; 
just  above  my  nose,  in  my  forehead, is  the  cavity  of  wisdom, 
and  just  above  that  my  hair,  which  is  now  getting  to  be 
long,  and  stands  out  in  all  directions,  giving  me  an  appear- 
ance of  fierceness  which  might  alarm,  were  it  not  apparent 
every  time  I  speak  or  laugh  that  my  teeth  are  gone,  so  that 
I  can  not  bite,  and  did  not  the  cross  in  my  forehead  appear 
as  the  token  of  a  religious,  placable  disposition.    This  may 


VISITS  UTCBFIBLD. — ^LETTSBS.  191 

suffice  to  assure  you  that  no  great  change  of  features  has  as 
yet  befallen  me. 

"As  to  what  I  do:  imprimisjl  sleep  in  a  long  flannel 
nightgown — ^bought  at  New  Haven,  and  made  by  Esther — 
and  lie  very  warm.  In  the  forenoon  I  read  a  little,  and  write 
a  little,  and  sometimes  visit  a  little.  The  afternoons  I  spend 
wholly  in  writing.  But  my  most  chiefest  employment  is 
brushing  my  clothes.  I  bought  also  at  New  Haven  a  new 
brush,  and  if  I  were  to  stand  all  day  and  do  nothing  but  use 
it,  the  lint  and  dust  would  be  attracted  as  fast  as  I  could 
brush  it  away.  I  make,  however,  three  or  four  main  efforts 
a  day,  and  minor  ones  between,  always  when  going  out. 
How  long  my  clothes  will  last  experience  can  best  decide ; 
but  sure  am  I  that  jackets  of  mine  never  experienced  such 
disquieting  friction  before. 

"  Give  my  most  affectionate  regards  to  any  of  my  good 
people  who  inquire  about  me,  and  let  them  know  that,  though 
absent  from  them  in  the  body,  I  have  not  ceased  to  remem- 
ber them  still. 

"  I  am  decided  never  to  settle  down  again  at  East  Hamp- 
ton, should  they  not  comply  with  my  terms.  I  am  thinking 
to  turn  Long  Island  missionary,  or  New  York  missionary, 
and,  if  I  must  make  sacrifices,  make  them  to  the  poor  and 
not  to  the  rich." 

*<  Litchfield,  Maivh  18, 1810. 

"  My  deab  Fbiend, — I  sit  down  after  the  labors  of  this 
day  in  the  sanctuary  to  rest  my  weary  body  and  recreate 
my  mind  by  talking  a  little  as  usual  in  such  cases  with  you. 
I  can  not  hear  your  criticisms,  nor  spend  much  time  in  crit- 
icising myself.  Though  I  feel  some  prostration  of  spirits, 
which  goes  far  to  depreciate,  in  my  own  view,  the  excel- 
lence of  my  performances,  I  still  believe  I  have  delivered  two 
pretty  good  sermons  tolerably  well. 


192  AUTOBIOGBAPUT. 

^'  You  will  be  led  by  my  last  letter  to  expect  me  not  loDg 
after  you  receive  this,  but  events  have  taken  place  which 
will  detain  me  one  Sabbath  longer  at  least,  if  not  two. 

"The  meeting  of  the  society  here  was  holden  on  Tuesday 
last.  It  was  very  full,  containing  double  the  number  Judge 
Reeve  says  he  had  ever  known  to  attend,  and  the  result,  to 
the  astonishment  of  evety  one,  was  a  unanimous  vote  to 
give  me  a  caU^  and  a  vote  almost  unanimous  to  give  i^  salary 
of  eight  hundred  dollars  per  annum.  The  probability  now 
is  that  the  providence  of  Ood  will  station  me  here. 

"  If  we  come  here,  our  property  will  be  exchanged  with- 
out loss.  The  house  I  shall  purchase  is  a  beautiful  situa- 
tiofiy  is  convenient,  has  a  large  kitchen,  a  well-room,  a  wood- 
house,  besides  two  bams  and  a  shop  on  the  premises,  and 
one  and  a  half  acres  of  land ;  price  about  tl350 ;  and  there 
is  a  good  young  orchard  near  for  sale,  so  that  we  can  keep 
a  horse  and  one  or  two  cows,  and  have  apples  of  our  own, 
for  the  money  we  shall  reserve  after  paying  our  debts. 

"  Since  writing  the  above,  I  have  attended  a  very  full  and 
solemn  conference.  I  have  heard  of  four  or  five  instances 
of  apparent  conviction  occasioned  by  the  blessing  of  God 
upon  my  Sabbath-day  labors,  one  of  which  has  issued,  I 
trust,  in  a  clear  and  joyful  conversion  to  God.  One  young 
man,  who  had  been  a  scoffer  through  the  late  revival,  has 
been,  I  am  told,  arrested  to-day  in  public  worship,  and  seized 
with  fear  and  trembling. 

"The  people  of  God  seem  to  be  awaking,  rejoicing  in 
hope  that  God  is  now  about  to  hear  their  prayers  and  send 
them  a  minister. 

"  On  the  whole,  appearances  are  very  favorable.  There 
have  every  week  been  increasing  tokens  of  the  presence  of 
God  among  the  people. 

"  Since  reading  your  letter,  which  I  have  just  received,  I 


VISITS  LITCHFIELD. — LSTTEBS.  193 

shall  Stay  but  one  Sabbath  more,  which  will  not  delay  my 
arrival  home,  as  I  can  not  leave  this  town  mitil  Wednesday, 
on  account  of  the  society  meeting,  after  which  I  can  not  get 
home  before  the  Sabbath,  and  think  that  if  I  spend  another 
Sabbath  on  this  side  the  water,  duty  and  interest  both  direct 
me  to  spend  it  here,  as  the  people  wish  me  to  stay  as  long 
as  I  can,  and  come  back  as  soon. 

^'  If  we  come  here,  we  shall  remove  immediately  after  my 
dismission.  The  family  will  stop  at  Guilford ;  the  furniture 
be  stored  at  New  Haven  until  after  my  installation,  when, 
if  the  Lord  so  please,  we  shall  all  come  on  and  settle  down, 
to  dwell  together  a  few  more  days  before  we  die. 

'*  I  can  not  account  for  the  delay  of  my  letters,  but  think 
you  will  have  a  shower  by-and-by,  for  I  have  written  every 
week  but  one  since  I  left.  I  shall,  Providence  permitting, 
be  at  home  within  a  few  days  of  April  I,  perhaps  by  that 
time.  I  trust  our  impatience  to  meet,  which  I  hope  is  mu- 
tual, will  not  trespass  on  the  duty  of  resignation.  Any  ar- 
rangements you  may  deem  proper  to  make  in  reference  to  a 
removal,  aft^er  Presbytery,  I  think  you  may  safely  make,  as, 
at  any  rate,  I  intend  to  cross  to  Guilford  with  the  family,  if 
not  with  all  the  furniture.  I  shall  be  in  great  haste  to  come 
and  tell  you  how  much  I  am  yours.'' 

I 


194  AUTOBIOGSAPHT. 


CHAPTER  XXXI. 

FAR£W£LL  TO  SA6T  UAMPTON. 

Immjbdiatelt  after  my  return,  Presbytery  met  on  Shelter 
Island,  April  18, 1810.  When  my  case  came  before  them,  I 
read  a  statement,  the  conclusion  of  which  was  as  follows  : 

'^I  have  been  requested  to  state  to  the  people  my  circum- 
stances, and  also  the  terms  on  which  I  should  be  willing  to 
continue  my  relation  to  this  people. 

^'In  compliance  I  would  state  that,  were  I  now  free  from 
the  embarrassment  of  debt,  I  think  I  could  support  my  fam- 
ily permanently  upon  a  salary  of  $500. 

*^  But,  being  at  this  time  $500  in  debt,  I  can  not  support 
my  family  on  even  a  salary  of  $500  and  pay  these  debts,  or 
even  the  interest  of  them.  If  my  people  are  disposed  to  re* 
lieve  me  from  my  present  embarrassments,  and  to  covenant, 
with  such  unanimity  as  to  make  it  proper  for  me  to  stay,  the 
sum  of  $500  annually,  with  my  fire-wood,  the  salary  to  in- 
clude the  present  year,  I  shall  think  it  my  duty  to  stay,  and 
shall  be  satisfied.  But  on  any  other  t^rms  below  this  I 
should  think  it  my  duty  to  remove,  and  should  earnestly  de- 
sire that  you  would  consent  to  my  dismission. 

*'  It  has  been  asked  if  I  would  engage  to  be  permanently 
satisfied  with  the  sum  of  $500.  To  this  I  can  only  reply 
that,  if  things  continue  as  they  have  been  since  my  settle- 
ment, I  think  I  could  live  upon  it.  If  any  unforeseen  causes 
should  increase  my  expenses  greatly,  it  would  be  in  vain  to 
promise  what  I  could  not  fulfill.  But  my  present  expecta- 
tions are  that  the  sum  named  would  be  sufficient. 

*'It  has  been  asked  whether,  if  the  sum  necessary  to  re- 
lieve me  from  embarrassment  were  advanced,  if  I  should  aft- 


^  FABEWKLL  TO  KAST  HAMPTON.  195 

erward  remove,  I  wonld  refiiDd  any  part.  If  I  considered 
this  sum  as  merely  a  donation,  I  certainly  would ;  bat  as  I 
have  certainly  labored  five  years  for  a  hmidred  dollars  a 
year  less  than  I  could  live  upon,  and  have  already  spent  in 
support  of  my  family  more  than  $600  of  my  own  money,  I 
do  not  feel  as  if  justice  would  require  that  I  should  restore 
what  I  should  consider  as  my  own  lawful  property.  I  con- 
sider that  $500  would  only  make  up  the  deficiencies  of  my 
past  support. 

^'  As  to  any  future  removal,  however,  if  I  do  not  go  now, 
it  is  not  likely  I  shall  ever  remove  until  removed  by  death. 

'^  It  has  been  suggested  that  there  has  been  for  some  time 
a  secret  understanding  between  me  and  the  people  of  Litch- 
field. This  is  not  true.  I  received  a  letter,  four  weeks  ago 
last  evening,  from  Mr.  Stuart,  minister  of  New  Haven,  writ- 
ten by  request  of  the  committee  of  the  town  of  Litchfield, 
inquiring  whether  I  could  be  obtained  by  that  people  as 
their  minister.  I  wrote  them  back  that  my  future  support 
here  was  in  an  uncertun  state ;  that  it  was  doubtful  how  it 
would  turn ;  and  that  I  could  give  no  other  answer  until  the 
business  was  decided  by  my  people.  Mr.  Stuart  transmitted 
this  information  to  Litchfield,  and  they  were,  in  consequence, 
pleased  to  send  over  the  invitation  of  which  you  have  been 
notified." 

Minute  adopted  by  Presbytery, 

^'Mr.Beeoher  requested  that  the  pastoral  reUiUon  subsist- 
ing between  him  and  the  Church  and  congregation  of  East 
Hampton  might  be  dissolved.  The  reason  of  this  request 
was  the  incompetency  of  his  present  support. 

^^The  elder  from  that  place  informed  the  Presbytery  that 
the  Church  and  congregation  had  resolved  to  make  no  ob- 
jection to  Mr.Beecher's  request. 


196  AUTOBIOGEAPHT.  ^ 

^'  After  a  particular  and  extensive  inquiry  into  ibis  pain- 
ful subject,  it  appeared  that  the  steps  taken  by  Mr.  Beecher 
in  treating  with  his  people  in  relation  to  this  business  had 
not  been  unduly  precipitate,  but  open,  candid,  and  expressive 
of  suitable  affection  and  concern  for  them.  That  be  pro- 
posed to  them  what  he  considered  necessary  to  be  done  in 
order  to  free  him  from  his  present  embarrassments,  enable 
him  to  be  wholly  devoted  to  the  ministry,  and  render  him 
willing  to  continue  their  minister. 

"  It  also  appeared  that  the  people  had  paid  immediate  at- 
tention to  the  subject,  and  that  their  exertions,  though  they 
ultimately  failed,  were  highly  laudable,  and  such  as  to  evince 
that  their  failure  did  not  arise  from  want  of  due  affection 
to  their  pastor,  or  from  any  reluctance  or  inability  to  ren- 
der an  adequate  support  for  the  Gospel,  but  alone  from  that 
difference  of  opinion  as  to  the  sum  necessary  which  unhap- 
pily often  exists  among  members  of  the  same  community. 
.  "And  since  there  appears  to  be  now  no  prospect  of  any 
farther  exertions  on  the  part  of  the  congregation  of  East 
Hampton,  and  seeing  they  have  signified  their  intention  to 
make  no  objection  to  the  proposed  dismission, 

^^JResolved  uncmimously^  That  Mr.  Beecher,  according  to 
his  request,  be,  and  he  is  hereby  dismissed  from  his  pastoral 
iielation  to  the  Church  and  congregation  of  East  Hampton. 

"  Mr.  Beecher  requested  a  dismission  from  this  body  to 
join  the  Southern  Association  of  Litchfield  County,  in  the 
State  of  Connecticut.  This  request  was  granted,  and  he  is 
hereby  recommended  to  said  association  as  a  minister  of  tne 
Gospel  in  good  and  regular  standing,  and  upon  being  re- 
ceived by  them  he  is  dismissed  from  us. 
"Signed  by  order  of  Presbytery, 

"  Aabok  Woolwobth,  Moderator. 
"Nathaniel  W.  Primb,  Clerk." 


FARBWSLL  TO  EAST  HAMPTON.  197 

My  farewell  sermon  was  from  Acts,  xx.,  26, 27 :  "  Where- 
fore, I  take  you  to  record  this  day  that  I  am  pure  from  the 
blood  of  all  men,  for  I  have  not  shunned  to  declare  unto  you 
all  the  counsel  of  God."  It  was  first  written  for  a  New- 
year's  sermon,  the  sixth  year  of  my  ministry,  and  now  re- 
vised and  enlarged.  I  afterward  made  it  over,  and  preach- 
ed it  anew  in  Litchfield ;  and  portions  of  it  were  incorporated 
in  the  sermon,  from  a  different  text,  delivered  at  the  ordina- 
tion of  Sereno  D  wight,  in  Park  Street,  in  1817.  It  was  pub- 
lished under  the  title,  ^' The  Bible  a  Code  of  Laws." 

Extract  from  FareweU  Sermon. 

**  It  18  my  purpose,  therefore,  at  this  time,  to  review  briefly 
the  labors  of  my  ministry  among  you,  and  to  assist  you  in  a 
review  of  the  improvement  you  may  have  made  of  the  means 
of  grace.  The  general  subjects  of  instruction  may  be  re- 
duced to  three  heads,  doctrinal,  experimental,  and  practical. 
With  respect  to  the  doctrines  you  have  heard,  the  following 
may  be  regarded  as  an  epitome: 

^'  The  being  of  one  Ood  in  three  persons — the  Father,  the 
Son,  and  the  Holy  Ghost. 

"  The  eternal  counsel  of  God,  embracing  His  whole  plan  of 
natural  and  moral  government,  and  extending  to  all  events. 

^^  The  universal  and  entire  depravity  of  human  nature. 

^^  A  Savior — God  manifest  in  the  flesh.  His  death  as  an 
atonement  for  sin.  The  sufficiency  of  this  atonement  for  the 
salvation  of  all  men,  and  the  sincere  ofler  of  its  benefits  to 
all  where  the  Gospel  is  proclaimed. 

"  The  nature,  necessity,  and  evidences  of  regeneration,  of 
faith,  and  of  repentance.  Such  ability  in  man  to  do  his  duty 
as  constitutes  him  inexcusable  though  God  should  never 
make  him  willing  to  do  it. 

"  The  sinner's  voluntary  obstinacy  in  rejecting  the  Savior ; 


198  '  AUTOBIOOBAPUY. 

and,  on  this  aoconnt,  the  necessity  of  the  special  influence 
of  the  Holy  Spirit  to  make  him  willing.  The  interposition 
of  this  grace,  according  to  the  purpose  of  election,  before  the 
world  began.  Ood's  mercy  in  saving  the  saved,  and  His 
jastice  in  passing  by  and  punishing  the  lost. 

"  The  universal  contamination  of  sin  till  the  heart  is  right 
with  God ;  and  the  inefficacy  of  striving  or  good  deeds  to 
change  the  heart  or  procure  converting  grace. 

**The  necessity  of  good  works  in  those  who  are  justified 
by  faith  only. 

'^  The  certain  perseverance  in  holiness  of  every  sdnt. 

"  The  immediate  happiness  of  the  righteous  after  death  in 
glory,  and  misery  of  the  wicked  in  hell. 

*^  The  resurrection  of  the  body ;  the  last  judgment ;  ever- 
lasting punishment  and  everlasting  life,  according  to  the 
deeds  done  in  the  body. 

'^  On  the  subject  of  experimental  religion,  the  reality,  the 
nature,  the  necessity,  and  evidences  have  constituted  the 
chief  topics  of  illustration.  On  these  subjects  line  upon  line 
has  been  given,  and  precept  on  precept.  Especially  has  it 
been  my  object  to  make  the  nature  and  evidences  of  Chris- 
tian experience  so  plain,  that  such  as  possessed  religion 
might  be  established  in  their  hopes,  and  such  as  did  not 
might  recognize  unequivocally  their  perilous  condition. 
•  ^'The  duties  inculcated  have  been  personal  and  relative: 
upon  individuals,  the  duties  of  self-government,  of  chastity, 
temperanfce,  honesty,  and  industry;  upon  parents,  the  du- 
ties of  mutual  affection  and  united  co-operaiion  to  train  up 
their  families  for  usefulness  in  time  and  for  heaven  hereafter, 
by  vigilance,' iAstrnction,  and  government,  and  example,  and 
pt&yer.  On  these  topics- yon  are  sensible  that  not  a  little 
has  been  said.  - ' 

^  As  members  of  civil  oodimunity^  y6a  have  heard  incul- 


FABEWJSLL  TO  SAST  HAMPTON.  199 

cated  the  duty  of  obeying  the  laws,  and  upholding  the  civil 
and  religions  institutions  of  the  land ;  of  acting  for  the  gen- 
eral good,  and  of  leading  quiet  and  peaceable  lives  in  all  god- 
liness and  honesty.  Especially  has  the  duty  of  uniting  your 
influence  to  suppress  vice  and  immorality  been  explained, 
and  of  uniting  your  exertions  in  accordance  with  the  de- 
mands of  our  country  to  extend  evangelical  instruction  to 
the  destitute. 

^'As  a  Church  you  have  heard  explained  the  duties  of 
maintaining  in  their  purity  the  doctrines  and  ordinances  of 
religion ;  that  none  can  lawfully  be  received  to  a  standing 
in  your  visible  community,  nor  to  a  participation  of  the  seals 
of  the  covenant.  Baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper,  but  upon 
the  ground  of  credible  evidence  ^ven  of  a  change  of  heart, 
and  saving  faith,  and  evangelical  repentance ;  and  that  this 
standing  can  be  retained  only  by  bringing  forth  works  meet 
for  repentance.  You  have  been  exhorted  to  cultivate  broth- 
erly love ;  to  forgive  injuries ;  to  bear  one  another's  bur- 
dens ;  to  grow  in  grace ;  to  live  near  to  Ood ;  to  make  re- 
ligion* your  chief  end ;  and  to  pray  fervently  for  the  outpour- 
ing of  the  Spirit  on  yourselves  and  on  the  world.  The  im- 
portance of  the  influence  of  the  Spirit,  and  the  duty  and 
motives  to  prayer,  have  been  made  prominent  topics  of  in- 
struction. ♦  ♦*»** 

*'  In  inculcating  these  doctrines  and  duties  of  religion, 
it.  has  been  my  first  care  to  be  understood,  and  my  next 
to  have  my  people  fed  their  weight.  I  have  woven  into 
my  discourse  much  argument,  because  the  inspired  penmen 
have  reasoned,  and  inculcated  the  use  of  sound  speech  that 
can  not  be  condemned.  I  have  invited  because  the  Scrip- 
tures invite,  and  exhorted  because  they  exhort,  and  entreat- 
ed because  they  entreat,  and  expostulated  because  they  ex- 
postulate.   I  have  addressed  your  consciences  because  the 


200  AUTOBIOGRAPUT. 

Bible  does,  and  your  hearts  because  God,  in  His  Word,  as- 
sails them.  It  has  not  been  my  object  to  amuse  you,  but  to 
instruct ;  not  to  please  you  merely,  but  to  do  you  good.  I 
hope  I  may  say  that  I  have  felt,  in  some  measure,  the  weight 
of  my  responsibility  and  the  greatness  of  your  danger,  and 
have  made  it  my  constant  endeavor  so  to  speak  as  to  save 
myself  and  you.  I  have,  consequently,  dwelt  most  on  sub- 
jects which  are  the  least  pleasing  to  the  human  heart. 

"  I  have,  however,  never  repeated  an  offensive  doctrine 
because  I  perceived  it  to  be  offensive ;  and  between  you  and 
me  in  thifi  place,  there  has  been,  I  trust,  no  action  and  reac- 
tion of  anger. 

"I  have  not  supposed,  however, my  work  to  be  done  by 
the  labors  of  the  study  and  the  sanctuary ;  and  you  will 
bear  me  witness  that,  from  the  beginning,  I  have  been  with 
you  at  all  tiites,  by  night  and  by  day,  in  sickness  and  in 
health,  in  joy  and  in  sorrow,  in  season  and  out  of  season,  and 
have  taught  you  publicly  and  from  house  to  hdtise.  Your 
children  have  many  times  been  called  around  me  to  receive 
catechetical  instruction  and  to  be  the  objects  of  prayer. 

*'  This  is  a  brief  account  of  my  public  instructions  and 
pastoral  labors.  But,  alas!  were  I  to  recount  this  day  my 
deficiencies — all  that  has  been  left  undone  which  it  was  my 
duty  to  do,  and  all  which  I  have  desired  to  do  and  your  best 
good  demanded  beyond  what  my  strength  would  admit,  it 
would  occupy  a  larger  space  and  more  time  than  this  briqf 
account. 

"But  it  is  time  to  turn  your  attention  from  your  pastor 
to  yourselves,  and  lend  you  some  assistance  in  reviewing 
your  own  improvement  of  the  nieans  of  grace. 

"  What  effect,  my  dear  people,  have  they  had  upon  you  ? 

"  Some  effect — a  great  effect  unquestionably.  But  have 
they  had  a  saving  effect?    Or  have  the  truths  delivered  by 


FABKWJSLL  TO  EAST  HAMPTON.  201 

your  pastor  been  the  means  which  your  own  wicked  hearts 
have  employed  to  make  them  more  blind  and  hardened  in 
sin  ?  How  have  you  regarded  the  doctrines  ?  Have  you 
searched  the  Scriptures  to  see  if  these  things  are  so,  or  have 
you  listened  to  the  fallacious  dictates  of  inclination  and  de- 
praved feeling  ? 

"  If  you  have  believed,  have  you  loved  also,  or  believed 
and  trembled? 

"  Have  you  been  bom  again  ?  Have  you  exercised  godly 
sorrow  ?    Have  you  come  to  Christ  ? 

*'  To  these  questions,  in  various  instances,  there  can  be  re- 
turned, I  trust,  an  answer  of  peace. 

^'  To  numbers  of  you,  the  blessed  truths  you  have  heard 
while  sitting  under  my  ministry  have  been  made,  I  trust,  the 
power  of  God  and  the  wisdom  of  God  in  your  redemption. 
Tou  have  realized  your  entire  depravity,  the  sinfulness  of 
sin  and  your  just  condemnation,  and  the  necessity  of  regen- 
eration by  the  Spirit  and  of  justification  by  the  righteous- 
ness of  Christ,  and  have  cheerfully  and  joyfully  accepted  of 
Christ  as  your  deliverer,  and  committed  your  souls  to  His 
care,  and  enlisted  publicly  under  His  banners. 

**  There  are  about  two  hundred  of  my  people,  some  here 
present,  some  removed  to  other  parts  of  Zion,  and  some,  I 
trust,  already  joined  to  the  general  assembly  of  the  first- 
born, whom  I  hope  to  meet  as  my  joy  and  crown  of  rejoic- 
ing in  the  presence  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  at  His  coming. 

^'  It  is  my  consolation  also  to  know  that  the  worship  of 
God  has  been  established  in  many  families  of  my  charge,  and 
to  perceive  a  growing  attention  in  many  parents  to  the  re- 
ligious instiniction  and  government  of  their  children. 

'*  In  the  Church  I  have  much  cause  to  believe,  too,  that  the 
Great  Shepherd  has  blessed  His  own  ordinances  to  the  edifi- 
cation of  His  people.    I  can  not  doubt  that  numbers  have 

12 


202  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

been  growing  in  grace  and  in  the  knowledge  of  God,  And  it 
'  has  given  me  unspeakable  pleasure  to  behold  you  going  on 
from  strength  to  strength,  and  ripening  for  glory.  If  there 
be  a  few  of  whom  I  stand  in  doubt,  fearing  lest  I  have  be- 
'  stowed  labor  upon  them  in  vain,  there  are  still  many  whom, 
if  I  be  so  blessed  myself  as  to  attain  to  the  world  of  glory, 
I  assuredly  expect  to  meet  there.  ***♦♦♦ 

<<  And  what  shall  I  say  to  you,  my  dear  bearers,  of  decent 
lives  and  impenitent  hearts,  to  whom,  through  the  whole  pe- 
riod of  my  ministry,  God  by  me  has  called  in  vain  ?  God  is 
my  witness  that  I  have  greatly  desired  and  earnestly  sought 
the  salvation  of  your  souls,  and  I  had  hoped  before  the  close 
of  my  ministry  to  be  able  to  present  you  as  dear  children  to 
God.  But  I  shall  not.  My  ministry  is  ended,  and  you  are 
not  saved.*  But  I  take  you  to  record  this  day  that  I  am 
pure  from  your  blood,  for  I  have  not  shunned  to  declare,  to 
you  especially,  the  counsel  of  God.  I  have  proclumed  abun- 
dantly, and  proved  by  Scripture  argument  your  entire  de- 
pravity, the  necessity  of  your  being  born  again,  the  ohMgOr 
tion  of  repentance  and  faith,  and  the  terrors — the  eternal 
terrors  of  law  and  Gospel  both,  if  you  did  not  repent,  and 
plead  with  you,  from  Sabbath  to  Sabbath,  to  be  reconciled 
to  God ;  and  now  I  leave  you  still  in  arms  against  God — 
still  in  the  gall  of  bitterness — still  in  the  kingdom  of  dark- 
ness, and  with  the  melancholy  apprehension  that  all  my  la- 
bors for  your  good  will  prove  only  a  savor  of  death.    Once 

*  In  Angnst,  1859,  the  writer  of  these  lines  called  on  Mrs.  J.  L.  Gar- 
diner, the  aged  widow  of  one  of  Dr.Beecher'9  former  parishionen. 

Daring  the  conversation  he  inquired,  "Were  yon,  madam,  a  member 
of  father's  Church  ?'*  **  Oh  no,"  she  answered,  tho  tears  starting,  "  not 
till  after  he  left.  It  was  his  leaving  that  was  the  cause  of  my  conversion. 
I  thought  when  he  went  that  the  harvest  was  past,  the  summer  ended,  and 
my  soul  not  saved." 


FABSWEIX  TO  XAST  HAHPTOK.  203 

more,  then,  I  proclaim  to  yoa  all  your  guilt  and  ruin.  Once 
more  I  call  upon  you  to  repent,  and  spread  before  you  tbd^ 
unsearchable  riches  of  Christ,  testifying  to  aU  of  you  that 
there  is  no  other  name  given  under  heaven  whereby  we 
must  be  saved,  and  that  he  that  believeth  shall  be  sttved. 
And  now  I  have  finished  the  work  which  God  has  given  me 
to  do.  I  am  no  longer  your  pastor,  nor  you  the  people  of 
my  care ;  to  the  God  who  committed  your  souls  to  my  care 
I  give  you  up ;  and  with  a  love  which  will  not  cease  to 
glow  till  the  lamp  of  life  expires,  I  bid  you  all  farewell." 


204  ACTOBIOGBAfHY. 


CHAPTER  XXXTT. 

LITCHFIELD. 

But  little  more  than  a  century  had  passed  away,  at  the 
date  of  this  narrative,  since  the  whole  of  Litchfield  County, 
occupying  the  northwest  comer  of  the  State  of  Connecticut, 
was  a  wilderness,  known  as  '^The  Western  Lands,"  and  its 
lakes,  and  streams,  and  forests  the  favorite  fishing  and  hoot- 
ing grounds  of  the  Indian. 

Litchfield  township,  near  the  centre  of  the  county,  agree- 
ably diversified  by  hills,  valleys,  mountains,  and  lakes,  was 
originally  named  Bantam,  from  the  tribe  of  Indians  first  oc- 
cupying the  site ;  the  present  name  being  derived,  with  the 
insertion  of  a  single  letter,  from  the  ancient  city  of  Lichfield, 
in  Staffordshire,  England.  The  largest  lake  and  stream  still 
retain  the  name  Bsintam,  and  many  arrow-heads,  turned  up 
by  the  plow  on  their  borders,  attest  them  to  have  been  the 
scene  of  fierce  combat  in  other  days. 

The  Bantam  Indians,  and  other  Connecticut  tribes,  were 
frequently  exposed  to  the  attacks  of  the  fiercer  Mohawks, 
of  whom  they  stood  in  constant  dread.  To  guard  against 
these  inroads,  they  established  a  rude  system  of  telegraphic 
signals  from  summit  to  summit  of  a  chain  of  "  guarding 
heights,"  one  of  which  was  Mount  Tom,  in  Litchfield.  Thus 
^'  all  the  tribes  on  the  Housatonic,  and  between  the  Housa- 
tonlc  and  the  Kaugatuck,  could  communicate  with  each  oth- 
er from  the  Sound,  two  hundred  miles  northward,  in  a  few 
hours."* 

♦  Kilbourne*!  History  of  Litchfield. 


LTTCHFIBLD.  206 

The  Bantam  fishing-grounds  appear  to  have  been  a  favor- 
ite resort  of  the  aboriginal  tribes ;  nor,  at  the  date  of  this 
narrative — though  the  Red  Man  had  passed  away — ^had  they 
lost  their  attractions  to  the  lover  of  the  piscatory  art.  The 
lakes  and  3treanis  of  Litchfield  abounded  not  only  in  ple- 
beian shoals  of  suckers,  roach,  eels,  and  catfish,  but  in  the 
more  patncian  families  of  trout,  perch,  and  pickerel,  some 
of  the  latter  having  been  caught  of  five  and  even  six  pounds' 
weight. 

The  forests,  also,  were  stored  with  game.  "  Foxes,  minks, 
muskrats,  rabbits,  woodchucks,  and  raccoons  are  now*  fre- 
quently trapped  within  the  limits  of  the  township ;  snipe, 
quail,  partridges,  and  wild  ducks  frequent  our  woods  and 
lakes."  Thus,  while  differing  entirely  from  East  Hampton  in 
its  natural  scenery,  Litchfield  afforded  equal  advantages  for 
outdoor  exercise  and  healthful  recreation — ^a  circumstance, 
perhaps,  as  worthy  of  notice  as  any  of  a  more  professional 
nature. 

Few  country  towns  in  our  land  have  so  many  interesting 
incidents  and  associations,  patriotic,  literary,  and  religious, 
connected  with  their  history  as  Litchfield.  The  town  was 
first  settled  in  1720,  and  in  1723,  when  there  were  but  sixty 
male  adult  inhabitants,  the  first  church  edifice  was  built,  to- 
gether with  a  "  Sabbath-dayjbouse'' — ^a  species  of  vestry  for 
purposes  of  warming  and  refreshmejit,  no  fires  being  allow- 
ed in  the  church.  At  the  time  of  the  Boston  Port  Bill, 
Litchfield  forwarded  a  liberal  contribution  for ^  the  poor  of 
the  city,  and  during  the  whole  Revolutionary  struggle  con- 
tinued to  signalize  its  devotion  to  the  patriotic  cause,  being 
visited  by  Washington,  Lafayette,  Rochambeau,  and  by  most 
of  the  principal  officers  of  the  army,  and  being  at  that  time 
the  residence  of  a  remarkable  number  of  educated  and  dis- 

*  Kilbonmc.    In  1859. 


206  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

tmguished  men.  Of  these,  three  were  members  of  the  State 
Council ;  four,  members  of  Congress ;  seven,  captains  in  the 
army ;  four  rose  to  the  rank  of  general  officers ;  two  became 
chief  justices ;  and  two  governors  of  the  state. 

Many  incidents  of  the  Revolutionary  period  connected 
with  Litchfield  might  be  mentioned  did  space  permit.  Thir- 
ty-six picked  men  from  this  place,  under  Captain  Beebe, 
were  sent  to  the  defense  of  Fort  Washington,  New  York. 
When,  afler  a  gallant  defense,  that  post  was  surrendered, 
such  was  the  treatment  received  by  the  prisoners,  in  viola- 
tion of  the  terms  of  capitulation,  that  six  only  of  the  thirty- 
six  lived  to  reach  home.  '^  They  died  miserable  deaths,  from 
cold,  hunger,  thirst,  suffocation,  disease,  and  the  vilest  cruel- 
ty from  those  to  whom  they  had  surrendered  on  a  solemn 
promise  of  honorable  treatment."* 

It  was  on  this  occasion  that  Ethan  Allen,  a  native  of  Litch- 
field and  a  professed  infidel,  exclaimed,  grinding  his  teeth, 
^'  My  faith  in  my  creed  is  shaken ;  there  ought  to  be  a  hell 
for  such  infernal  scoundrels  as  that  Lowrie"-^the  officer  in 
charge  of  the  prisoners. 

One  or  two  other  incidents  may  be  pardoned,  as  the  hero 
of  them  survived  to  be  for  years  a  parishioner  and  personal 
friend  of  Dr.  Beecher ;  we  refer  to  Colonel  Benjamin  Tall- 
madge.  Colonel  Tallmadge  commenced  his  career  as  cap- 
tain of  Light  Dragoons  in  *^  Sheldon's  regiment  of  Horse," 
throughout  the  war  the  favorite  corps,  or  body-guard,  of 
General  Washington.  He  was  over  six  feet  in  height,  and 
large  in  proportion ;  in  countenance  and  bearing  resembling 
Washington,  with  whom  he  was  a  favorite.  He  was  in  the 
battles  of  Short  Hills,  Brandy  wine,  Germantown,  and  Mon- 
mouth. At  Valley  Forge,  his  was  the  advance  corps  of  ob- 
servation.   On  this  service,  he  was  attacked  one  day  by  a 

*  Kilbonrnc,  page  101. 


LITCBFIKLD.  807 

large  body  of!  the  enemy,  and  in  making  his  escape,  m^t  a 
young  girl  who  had  been  sent  with  a  basket  of  eggs  to  con- 
vey information.  Having  discharged  her  errand,  she  begged 
for  protection.  Hastily  ordering  her  to  mount  behind  him, 
he  rode  three  miles  to  Gerraantown.  In  narrating  this  to 
Dr.  Beecher,  he  stated  that  afterward  the  Briti0h  affirmed 
that  the  American  officers  came  into  battle  with  their  sweet- 
hearts behind  them. 

When  Major  Andr6  was  captured,  and  Lieutenant  Ck>lo- 
nel  Jameson,  commanding  in  the  absence  of  Colonel  Sheldon, 
sent  the  prisoner  to  General  Arnold's  head-quarters,  it  was 
through  Major  Tallmadge's  influence  that  he  'was  brought 
back,  and  his  rank  finally  disclosed.  '^  I  became  so  deeply 
attached  to  Major  Andr6,"  he  said  in  afler  years,  '^  that  I 
can  remember  no  instance  in  which  my  affections  were  so 
fully  absorbed  in  any  man.  When  I  saw  him  swinging  un- 
der the  gibbet,  it  seemed  for  the  time  as  if  I  could  not  sup- 
port it." 

In  1780  Major  Tallmadge  made  a  brilliant  dash,  or  raid, 
upon  Long  Island  with  a  hundred  picked  dragoons.  Fort 
George,  on  the  south  side  of  the  island,  was  captured,  the 
works  demolished,  the  houses,  shipping,  and  immense  Quan- 
tities of  stores,  together  with  the  king's  magazine  at  Coram, 
destroyed,  and  all  without  the  loss  of  a  man. 

In  the  earlier  part  of  the  war,  probably  in  1777,  on  a  cer- 
tain pressing  emergency.  General  Washington  ordered  Shel- 
don to  send  him  all  the  effective  men  of  his  regiment.  Four 
companies  were  dispatched,  under  Major  Tallmadge ;  his 
own  company  mounted  on  dapple  grays,  with  black  straps 
and  bearskin  holsters,  looking  superbly. 

Passing  through  Litchfield,  they  attended  worship  on  Sun- 
day in  the  old  meeting-house  on  the  village  green.  The 
country  was  in  alarm  at  the  intelligence  that  Comwallis  was 


208  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

approaching  the  coast  with  a  large  fleet.  Rev.  Judah  Cham- 
pion, the  pastor,  an  able  and  eloquent  man,  is  said  to  have 
uttered  the  following  prayer : 

"  O  Lord,  we  view  with  terror  the  approach  of  the  ene- 
mies of  Thy  holy  religion.  Wilt  Thou  send  storm  and  tem- 
pest to  tosa  them  upon  the  sea,  and  to  overwhelm  them  upon 
the  mighty  deep,  or  to  scatter  them  to  the  uttermost  parts 
of  the  earth.  But  peradventure  any  should  escape  Thy 
vengeance,  collect  them  together  again  as  in  the  hollow  of 
Thy  hand,  and  let  Thy  lightnings  play  upon  thjem.  We  do 
beseech  Thee,  moreover,  that  Thou  do  gird  up  the  loins  of 
these  Thy  servants  who  are  going  forth  to  fight  Thy  battles. 
Make  them  strong  men,  that  *  one  shall  chase  a  thousand, 
and  two  put  ten  thousand  to  flight.'  Hold  before  them  the 
shield  with  which  Thou  wast  wont  in  the  old  time  to  pro- 
tect Thy  chosen  people.  Give  them  swift  feet,  that  they 
miay  pursue  their  enemies,  and  swords  terrible  as  that  of 
Thy  destroying  angel,  that  they  may  cleave  them  down. 
Preserve  these  servants  of  thine.  Almighty  God !  and  bring 
them  once  more  to  their  homes  and  friends,  if  Thou  canst 
do  it  consistently  with  Thy  high  purposes.  If,  on  the  other 
hand,  Thou  hast  decreed  that  they  shall  die  in  battle,  let  Thy 
Spirit  be  present  with  them,  and  breathe  upon  them,  that 
Ihey  may  go  up  as  a  sweei  sacrifice  into  the  courts  of  Thy 
temple,  where  are  habitations  prepared  for  them  from  the 
foundation  of  the  world." 

At  the  close  of  the  war  Major  Tallmadge  retired  with  the 
rank  of  colonel,  and  was  subsequently,  for  sixteen  years,  a 
member  of  Congress.  By  his  commanding  appearance,  dig- 
nified manners,  and  warm-hearted  benevolence,  he  was  great- 
ly endeared  to  all  classes,  and  exercised  a  leadmg  influence 
in  the  society. 

Among  others  who  were  living  when  Df.  Beecher  be- 


LITCHFtBLD.        '  209 

came  a  resident  of  Litchfield  may  be  mentioned  Governor 
Oliver  Wolcott,  jun.,  a  member  of  Washington's  cabinet; 
Hon.  John  Allen,  a  member  of  Congress,  celebrated  for  his 
uncommon  stature,  being  nearly  seven  feet  high,  and  large 
in  proportion ;  Hon.  Frederick  Wolcott,  son  of  Governor 
Wolcott,  sen.,  a  distinguished  lawyer ;  Hon.  Jabez  Hunt- 
ington, brother  of  Mrs.  Governor  Wolcott,  and  associate  of 
Judge  Reeve  in  the  law  school ;  Hon.  Uriel  Holmes,  a  law- 
yer of  note,  member  of  Congress,  and  judge  of  the  coun- 
ty  court;  Judge  Ephraim  Kirby,  United  States  judge  for 
Louisiana,  whose  family  sometimes  resided  in  Litchfield; 
Seth  P.  Beers,  a  successful  lawyer ;  John  Pierpont,  the  poet, 
who  married  the  daughter  of  Sheriff  Lynde  Lord,  and  whose 
family  sometimes  resided  in  Litchfield ;  Dr.  Sheldon,  one  of 
the  most  celebrated  physicians  in  the  state ;  John  P.  Brace, 
a  gentleman  of  liberal  education,  poetic  talent,  and  scientific 
attainments,  who  was  for  several  years  associated  with  his 
aunt,  Miss  Sarah  Pierce,  in  conducting  the  Female  Academy, 
which  drew  people  from  all  parts  of  the  Union.  Rev.  Ju- 
dah  Champion,  already  mentioned,  had  just  passed  away. 
His  sister  was  married  to  Julius  Deariog,  a  wealthy  mer- 
chant ;  his  niece  to  Asa  Bacon,  a  prominent  lawyer ;  and  his 
daughter  to  John  R.  Landon,  high  sheriff  of  the  county. 
Last,  but  not  least,  is  to  be  mentioned  Judge  Tapping  Reeve, 
for  over  half  a  century  a  citizen  of  Litchfield,  and  founder 
of  the  celebrated  law  school,  which  for  forty  years  was  re- 
sorted to  by  young  men  of  talent  from  nearly  every  state  in 
the  Union. 

Judge  Reeve's  first  wife  was  a  granddaughter  of  Presi- 
dent Edwards,  and  sister  of  Aaron  Burr,  who  for  about  six 
years  regarded  Litchfield  as  home. 

Judge  Reeve  was  distinguished  for  his  piety,  and  interest 
in  all  benevolent  operations,  as  much  as  for  his  learning.    In 


210  AUTOBXOGBAPHT. 

him  Dr.Beecher  found  a  trnly  kindred  spirit;  and  probably 
DO  man,  through  the  whole  course  of  his  life,  ever  stood  so 
near  to  him  in  Christian  intimacy.  In  after  years,  wherever 
he  went,  those  families  he  was  accustomed  oflenest  to  visit 
on  terms  of  closest  intimacy  he  was  wont  to  call  his  ^'' Judge 
jReeve  pkuseaJ" 

At  the  date  of  this  narrative  there  were  two  religious  so- 
cieties in  Litchfield,  the  Congregational  and  the  Episcopal ; 
but,  by  a  singular  vicissitude,  these  denominations  occupied 
a  somewhat  anomalous  position  toward  each  other.  The 
Puritan  communion  was  now  *'  the  standing  order,''  or  Es- 
tablished Church,  and  the  Episcopal  communion  was  the  tol- 
erated sect.  In  early  years,  and  especially  during  the  Rev- 
olution, when  most  Episcopalians  conscientiously  favored 
the  royal  cause,  the  latter  can  hardly  be  sidd  to  have  been  a 
tolerated  sect,  to  such  an  extent  had  the  original  theological 
feud  been  embittered  by  political  rancor.  Now,  however, 
DO  outward  signs  of  the  ancient  bitterness  of  feeling  were 
apparent 

The  Congregational  Society  were  worshiping  in  their  sec- 
ond meeting-house,  so  well  described  by  Mrs.  Stowe  in  the 
Mayflower :  "  To  my  childish  eye,  our  old  meeting-house 
was  an  awe-inspiring  thing.  To  me  it  seemed  fashioned 
very  nearly  on  the  model  of  Noah's  Ark  and  Solomon's 
TempTe,  as  set  forth  in  the  pictures  in  my  Scripture  Cate- 
chism— pictures  which  I  did  not  doubt  were  authentic  cop- 
ies ;  and  what  more  venerable  architectural  precedent  could 
any  one  desire  ? 

"Its  double  row  of  windows,  of  which  I  knew  the  num- 
ber by  heart ;  its  doors,  with  great  wooden  quirls  over  them ; 
its  belfry,  projecting  out  at  the  east  end ;  its  steeple  and  bell, 
all  inspired  as  much  sense  of  the  sublime  in  me  as  Strasbourg 
Cathedral  itself;  and  the  inside  was  not  a  whit  less  imposing. 


UTCEFDiLD.  211 

*^  How  magnificent,  to  my  eye,  seemed  the  tarnip-like  can- 
opy that  hung  over  the  minister's  head,  hooked  by  a  long 
iron  rod  to  the  wall  above!  and  how  apprehensively  did 
I  consider  the  question  what  would  become  of  him  if  it 
should  fall !  How  did  I  wonder  at  the  panels  on  either  side 
of  the  pulpit,  in  each  of  which  was  carved  and  painted  a 
flaming  red  tulip,  with  its  leaves  projecting  out  at  right  an- 
gles !  and  then  at  the  grape-vine,  in  bass-relief,  on  the  front, 
with  exactly  triangular  bunches  of  grapes  alternating  at  ex- 
act intervals  with  exactly  triangular  leaves.  The  area  of  the 
bouse  was  divided  into  large  square  pews,  boxed  up  with 
stout  boards,  and  surmounted  with  a  kind  of  baluster  work, 
which  I  supposed  to  be  provided  for  the  special  accommo- 
dation of  us  youngsters,  being  the  loophole  of  retreat  through 
which  we  gazed  on  the  *  remarkabilia'  of  the  scene.  *  *  * 

"  A  Yankee  village  presents  a  picture  of  the  curiosities  of 
every  generation ;  there,  from  year  to  year,  they  live  on,  pre- 
served by  hard  labor  and  regular  habits,  exhibiting  every 
peculiarity  of  manner  and  appearance,  as  distinctly  marked 
as  when  they  first  came  from  the  mint  of  Nature.  And,  as 
every  body  goes  punctually  to  meeting,  the  meeting-house 
becomes  a  sort  of  museum  of  antiquities — a  general  muster- 
ground  for  past  and  present. 

**But  the  glory  of  our  meeting-house  was  its  singers'  seat, 
that  empyrean  of  those  who  rejoiced  in  the  mysterious  art 
of  fa-sol-la-ing.  There  they  sat  in  the  gallery  that  lined  three 
sides  of  the  house,  treble,  counter,  tenor,  and  bass,  each  with 
its  appropriate  leader  and  supporters.  There  were  general- 
ly seated  the  bloom  of  our  young  people,  sparkling,  modest, 
and  blushing  girls  on  one  side,  with  their  ribbons  and  finery, 
making  the  place  as  blooming  and  lively  as  a  flower-garden ; 
and  fiery,  forward,  confident  young  men  on  the  other.  *  ♦  ♦ 

^'  But  I  have  been  talking  of  singers  all  the  time,  and  have 


212  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

neglected  to  mention  the  Magnus  Apollo  of  the  whole  con* 
cern,  who  occupied  the  seat  of  honor  in  the  midst  of  the 
middle  gallery,  and  exactly  opposite  to  the  minister.  With 
what  an  air  did  he  sound  the  important  fa-la-sol-fa  in  the 
ears  of  the  waiting  gallery,  who  stood,  with  open  months, 
ready  to  give  their  pitch  preparatory  to  their  general  set  to  ! 
How  did  his  ascending  and  descending  arm  astonish  the 
zephyrs  when  once  he  laid  himself  out  to  the  important 
work  of  beating  time ! 

'^  But  the  glory  of  his  art  consisted  in  the  execution  of 
those  good  old  billowy  compositions  called  fuguing  tunes, 
where  the  four  parts  that  compose  the  choir  take  up  the 
song,  and  go  racing  around  one  after  another,  each  singing 
a  different  set  of  words,  till  at  length,  by  some  inexplicable 
magic,  they  all  come  together  again,  and  sail  smoothly  out 
into  a  rolling  sea  of  harmony ! 

.  "  I  remember  the  wonder  with  which  I  used  to  look  from 
side  to  side  when  treble,  tenor,  counter,  and  bass  were  thus 
roaring  and  foaming,  and  it  verily  seemed  to  me  as  if  the 
psalm  were  going  to  pieces  among  the  breakers ;  and  the 
delighted  astonishment  with  which  I  found  that  each  par- 
ticular verse  did  emerge  whole  and  uninjured  from  the 
storm, 

'^  But,  alas  for  the  wonders  of  that  old  meeting-house, 
how  they  are  passed  away!  Even  the  venerable  building 
has  been  pulled  down,  and  the  fragmeAts  scattered.  Those 
painted  tulips  and  grape-vines  which  my  childish  eye  used 
to  covet  now  lie  forgotten  in  a  garret. 

"I  have  visited  the  spot  where  the  old  house  stood, but 
the  modem,  fair-looking  building  that  stands  in  its  room 
bears  no  trace  of  it,  and  of  the  various  familiar  faces  that 
used  to  be  seen  inside  scarce  one  remains." 

Three  pastors  had  preceded  Dr.  Beecher  in  the  charge  of 


LTTCHl'IELD.  213 

this  parish — Rev.  Timothy  Collins,  Rev.  Judah  Champion, 
and  Rev.  Dan  Huntington.  The  ministry  of  the  latter  had 
been  blessed  ivith  a  powerful  revival,  the  fruits  of  which 
were  yet  visible,  and  the  memory  warm  in  the  hearts  of 
Christians.  Three  hundred  persons  were  said  at  that  time 
to  have  been  converted.  In  earlier  periods  of  the  Church's 
history,  during  the  great  awakening  under  Edwards,  Whit- 
field, and  others,  a  decided  stand  was  taken  in  opposition  to 
revivals. 

"They  went  so  far,''  says  Mr. Huntington, " in  a  regular 
Church-meeting,  called  expressly  for  the  purpose  under  the 
ministry  of  the  venerable  Mr.  Collins,  as  to  let  the  revival- 
ists know,  by  a  unanimous  vote,  that  they  did  not  wish  to 
see  them.  The  effect  was  they  did  not  come.  The  report 
circulated  that  Litchfield  had  ^  voted  Christ  out  of  their  bor- 
ders.' It  was  noticed  by  some  of  the  older  people  that  the 
death  of  the  last  person  then  a  member  of  the  Church  was 
a  short  time  before  the  commencement  of  our  revival." 

From  the  same  source  is  derived  the  following  graphic 
picture  of  Litchfield,  forming  an  appropriate  close  of  this 
chapter: 

"A  delightful  village,  on  a  fruitful  hill,  richly  endowed 
with  schools  both  professional  and  scientific,  with  its  vener- 
able governors  and  judges,  with  its  learned  lawy^,  and  sen- 
ators, and  representatives  both  in  the  national  and  state  de- 
partments, and  with  a  population  enlightened  and  respecta- 
ble, Litchfield  was  now  in  its  glory." 


214  AtrrOBIOGBAFHY. 


.     CHAPTER  XXXni. 

BEMOVAL. 

Aftee  a  visit  of  three  weeks  I  went  back  to  Long  Island. 
Sold  my  house  for  $1800 — the  only  speculation  I  ever  made 
in  my  life ;  it  cost  me  some  $800.  We  did  not  dispose  of 
our  fui*niture  and  valuables,  but  had  an  auction  of  things  we 
did  not  want  to  carry  away.  I  brought  the  family  over  on 
a  sloop,  and  left  some  at  Nutplains,  and  some  at  New  Haven 
with  Esther,  and  went  up  to  Litchfield  on  horseback  to  pur- 
chase the  place  and  make  preparation.  Carried  my  $1800 
in  my  pocket.  Never  had  so  much  money  before.  Was  so 
afraid  of  being  robbed,  that  when  I  got  within  fifteen  miles 
of  Litchfield,  I  stopped  and  spent  the  night  with  a  brother 
minister,  and  rode  into  town  the  next  day. 

Judge  Reeve  was  in  want  of  money  then,  so  he  gave  his 
notes  to  the  man  from  whom  I  bought  the  house,  and  paid 
interest  on  them. 

Afler  I  had  staid  a  few  days  and  made  all  necessary  prep- 
arations. Judge  Allen  let  me  take  his  large  two-horse  wag- 
on, and  I  %ent  down  and  brought  up  your  mother  and  all 
the  children — Catharine, William, Edward,  and  Mary;  but 
George  was  left  to  be  weaned. 

Edwabd.  '^  I  remember  being  in  the  wagon  with  William, 
and  when  we  passed  through  New  Haven,  father  stopped 
the  horses  before  the  college,  and  said  to  William  and  me, 
*  There,  boys,  look  there!  there^s  where  you've  got  to  go 
one  of  these  days.' 

I  brought  them  up,  and  for  the  first  few  nights  we  stopped 
at  Judge  Reeve's. 


BEMOTAL.  215 

H.  E.  B.  ^'  How  well  I  remember  Judge  Reeve's  house — 
wide,  roomy,  and  cheerful !  It  used  to  be  the  Eden  of  our 
childish  imagination.  I  remember  the  grgat  old-fashioned 
garden,  with  broad  alleys,  set  with  all  sorts  of  stately  bunch- 
es of  flowers.  It  used  to  be  my  reward,  when  I  had  been 
good,  to  spend  a  Saturday  afternoon  there,  and  walk  up  and 
down  among  the  flowers,  and  pick  currants  off  the  bushes." 

Meanwhile  Aunt  Harriet  took  care  of  George.  I  forget 
how  he  was  brought  home.  Angels  didn't  bring  him. 
Don't  know  but  your  mother  had  to  go  down  for  him. 

I  hired  four  great  farmers'  wagons  to  go  down  to  New 
Haven,  and  get  our  goods  that  were  stored  on  Long  Wharf, 
at  a  store-house  of  a  friend  of  mine,  who  would  not  take 
any  pay. 

So  when  I  started  to  East  Hampton  I  had  but  one  little 
trunk,  and  now  God  had  made  mefottr  loads. 

I  was  installed  by  the  Consociation,  composed,  like  the 
Presbytery,  of  pastors  and  delegates,  some  twenty  or  thirty 
in  all.  The  meeting  was  full  and  large,  and  I  was  examined 
as  if  I  had  been  a  novice,  strictly,  critically,  and  very  much 
to  the  satisfaction  of  the  Consociation.  Litchfield  was  a 
kind  of  fountain-head  of  orthodoxy.  There  were  no  suspi- 
cions of  heresy  abroad  then.  Indeed,  Dr.  Backus  rather 
apologized  for  examining  me  so  closely,  about  whom,  he 
said,  they  had  no  doubt.  Tet,  he  observed,  it  had  introduced 
me  to  the  confidence  of  the  Consociation  to  have  it  done  in 
their  hearing. 

From  the  first  I  preached  for  a  revival.  There  had  been, 
in  connection  with  the  three  Sabbaths  of  my  visit,  a  new 
quickening  of  Christian  people,  and  of  some  who  had  falter- 
ed. Judge  Reeve  rode  with  me  through  the  town,  and  told 
me  about  the  great  revival  that  had  been  there  under  Mr. 
Huntington,  and  introduced  me  to  many  who  were  con- 


216  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

verted  in  it.  He  told  me  many  incidents  and  anecdotes,  so 
that  my  mind  was  filled  with  warm  and  tender  interest. 
Oh  Judge  Ree\;e,  what  a  man  he  was !  When  I  get  to 
heaven,  and  meet  him  there,  what  a  shaking  of  hands  there 
will  be !  This  interest  continued  till  I  returned.  I  can  not 
tell  how  long  it  was  before  the  revival  came.  I  did  not  push 
revivals  by  protracted  meetings,  but  preached  twice  on  the 
Sabbath,  and  exhorted  in  the  evenings,  calling  on  the  dea- 
cons to  make  the  prayers.  My  revivals  were  slower  in  com- 
ing, and  more  gradual  in  their  movement,  but  for  that  rea- 
son I  held  on  strong  and  did  not  flag.  It  was  a  year  or  two, 
per{iaps  more,  before  the  revival  came,  and  then  it  continued 
more  or  less  for  three  or  four  years,  either  at  the  centre,  or 
out  places  where  I  used  to  lecture.  I  was  in  full  vigor  in 
those  years ;  lectured  sometimes  nine  times  a  week,  be- 
sides going  in  th£  mornings  to  converse  with  the  awakened. 
I  knew  nothing  about  being  tired.  My  heart  was  warm, 
and  I  preached  with  great  ease.  If  any  ministers  happened 
along,  I  did  not  want  them  to  help  me.  Did  not  ask  them, 
not  a  single  one.  They  would  strike  forty  miles  behind. 
My  mind  and  the  mind  of  the  congregation  were  in  such  a 
state  they  could  not  come  up  to  us.  Miss  Pierce's  school- 
house  was  our  vestry,  at  the  centre,  uniformly. 

I  used  to  take  in  Jay's  Sermons,  or  some  other,  on  Sun- 
day evenings,  and  read  a  short  passage,  and  then  make  the 
application  extempore,  in  most  fervent,  efficient  style.  There 
was  great  expostulation  and  entreaty,  so  that  Colonel  Tall- 
madge  almost  leaped  for  joy,  exclaiming,  '^  I  never  heard  the 
like.    He  is  determined  we  shall  all  be  converted." 

I  never  preached  old  sermons,  but  new  editions  of  old  ser- 
mons. This  kept  my  mind  up.  I  recollect  being  at  Judge 
Reeve's  once  the  evening  before  Fast-day.  I  said,  ^'  I  must 
go  home.    I  have  not  got  my  Fast  sermon  yet."    They  all 


BimOVAL.  217 

Stared,  I  had  jast  come  there  then.  So  I  went  home  and 
knocked  off  the  sermon,  partly  that  night  and  partly  the 
next  morning. 

On  the  way  home  from  preaching,  Jadge  Gould,  one  of 
the  best  and  most  critibtd  minds  in  the  state,  said,  **  Well, 
Tm  not  much  for  typing  sermons,  but  I  think  that  sermon 
ought  to  be  typed.'^ 


*<  Litchfield,  April  18, 1863. 

'^  Rsy.  Chajelles  Bsscheb  : 

^'Dbab  Sib, — You  ask  what  I  can  state  conyeming  the 
labors  of  your  father  in  Litchfield,  and  especially  as  to  the 
revivals  of  religion  which  this  Church  enjoyed  during  his 
ministry  here,  their  number,  and  the  years  of  their  occur- 
rence. 

''My  recollections  of  Dr.  Beecher  as  a  man,  a  minister, 
and  a  preacher  are  yet  very  distinct.  His  air,  his  voice,  his 
earnestness  in  gesture,  in  look,  in  appeals  to  the  fears,  the 
hopes,  and  the  consciences  of  his  hearers — they  are  all  be- 
fore me  now,  in  my  sixty-ninth  year,  as  vivid  as  in  my  youth. 

''  The  first  result  of  his  coming  among  us  was  an  increase 
of  the  congregation ;  our  ancient  meeting-house,  large  as  it 
was,  being  filled  to  overflowing. 

''In  1812  there  were  indications  of  a  reviving,  which  in 
1813  became  marked  and  hopeful.  It  continued  as  a  reviv- 
al,  first  in  the  centre  of  the  town,  next  in  the  west,  then  in 
the  east,  and  on  the  extreme  outskirts  of  the  society;  and 
till  1817  there  was  scarcely  a  communion  season  at  which 
there  were  not  additions  to  the  Church.  I  can  not  regard 
this  as  a  revival  in  any  one  particular  year,  since  in  one  sec- 
tion or  another  of  the  parish,  for  four  years,  the  work  of 
grace  was  manifest.  There  were  then  within  my  recollec- 
tion, as  there  have  been  since,  certain  localities  remote  from 

K 


218  AUTOmOGRAPHT. 

the  centre,  and  where  Satan  had  long  held  control.  These 
were  invaded,  and  a  border  warfare  waged  by  Dr.  Beecher 
against  the  devil,  in  which  many  were  rescued  from  his 
power  and  brought  over  to  Christ.  In  1821  the  Church  was 
blessed  with  a  special  revival,  and  again  in  1825,  both  re- 
sulting in  many  hopeful  conversions.  We  have  no  existing 
recotds  to  show  the  numbers  who  were  brought  into  the 
kingdom  as  the  fruits  of  these  years  of  grace.  The  doctor 
was  not  apt  to  make  written  note  of  the  nanies  of  those  who 
enlisted  under  Christ  through  his  instrumentality.  Most  of 
these,  havljig  finished  their  course  on  earth,  have,  as  we 
trust,  gone  up,  and  have  met  him,  their  former  beloved  pas- 
tor, in  heaven,  where  recognitions  are  perfect  and  blessed- 
ness complete.  ^I  might  have  made  a  record  of  your  con- 
version,' he  may  say,  to  one  and  another  of  his  redeemed 
flock,  *  but  no  matter  now ;  your  names  are  in  the  LamVs 
Book  ofldfe;  so  let  us  sing  lotjd  haujelujahs.' 
**  Very  respectfully  and  truly  yours,        H.  L.  Vaill." 


BBMIKISCENCSS  OF  LTTCHFISLD.  219 


CHAPTER  XXXIV. 

BBMTNISCSNCES   OF  UTCHFIELD. 

From  Miss  C  -E  Beecher. 

"  Dear  Brotheb, — ^The  first  five  years  of  father's  Litch- 
field ministry,!  think,  were  probably  a  period  of  more  unal- 
loyed happiness  than  any  in  his  whole  life.  Mother  enjoyed 
perfect  health,  and  sympathized  thoroughly  with  him  in  all 
his  tastes  and  employments.  The  children  were  fall  of 
health  and  spirits,  under  a  wise  and  happy  family  govern- 
ment. Aunt  Mary  spent  much  of  her  time  with  us,  and 
some  of  mother's  favorite  pupils,  who  had  come  to  attend 
Miss  Pierce's  school,  sought  a  home  in  our  family.  Betsy 
Burr,  an  orphan  cousin,  lived  with  us  like  an  adopted  daugh- 
ter till  her  marriage,  which  took  place  at  our  house. 

^'The  kitchen  department  was  under  the  care  of  the  good 
and  affectionate  Zillah  and  Rachel,  who  came  with  us  from 
Long  Island,  and  completed  the  home  circle. 

'*  Mother  was  of  that  easy  and  gentle  temperament  that 
could  never  very  strictly  enforce  any  rules ;  while  father, 
you  know,  was  never  celebrated  for  his  habits  of  system  and 
order.  Of  course  there  was  a  free  and  easy  way  of  living, 
more  congenial  to  liberty  and  sociality  than  to  conventional 
rules.  As  I  look  back  to  those  days,  there  is  an  impression 
of  sunshine,  love,  and  busy  activity,  without  any  memory  of 
a  jar  or  cloud. 

*'  In  about  a  year  or  two  after  father's  removal,  Grandma 
Beecher  and  Aunt  Esther  gave  up  the  old  homestead  in  New 
Haven,  and  the  half  of  the  next  house  to  ours  on  the  way  to 


220  AUTOBIOOBAPHT. 

Prospect  Hill  became  their  home.  To  this  snug  little  estab- 
lishment, BO  neat  and  orderly,  we  children  always  approach- 
ed with  somewhat  of  the  Oriental  feeling  that  we  must  put 
the  shoes  off  our  feet,  or  at  least  wipe  them  very  clean,  to  en- 
ter such  immaculate  domains. 

*' There  sat  Grandma  Beecher  in  her  rocking-chair — a 
^  neat,  precise,  upright  little  lady,  with  sparkling  black  eyes, 
and  every  thing  around  her  arranged  in  exactest  order,  while 
Aunt  Esther  watched  over  and  waited  upon  her  with  unlim- 
ited devotion. 

"This  was  the  daily  resort  of  father  or  some  of  the  fami- 
ly, while  Aunt  Esther  came  over  to  our  house  daily  for  some 
errand,  or  to  enjoy  a  chat  with  mother. 

"  An  important  element  of  father's  domestic  and  literary 
history  was  found  in  the  society  of  Aunt  Mary  Hubbard  and 
Uncle  Samuel  Foote.  Mother's  tastes  were  rather  for  sub- 
jects of  a  scientific  and  metaphysical  cast,  while  Aunt  Mary 
inclined  predominantly  to  polite  literature  and  works  of  im- 
agination. Each,  however,  joined  with  keen  relish  in  the  fa- 
vorite pursuits  of  the  other. 

"Aunt  Mary  was  a  beautiful  reader,  and  I  have  the  most 
vivid  recollection  of  the  impassioned  tones  in  which  her  fa- 
vorite authors  were  ^ven  to  the  family  circle.  At  East 
Hampton,  when  I  was  only  eight  or  nine,  my  mind  was 
stored  with  wierd  tales  from  Scott's  ballads,  while  the  *■  Lay 
of  the  Last  Minstrel'  and  '  Marmion'  were  read  aloud,  min- 
gled with  enthusiastic  encomiums  on  favorite  passages. 

"  I  remember  a  visit  of  Uncle  Samuel  while  we  lived  at 
East  Hampton,  in  which  ho  brought  with  him  various  liter- 
ary works,  and  also  some  of  the  first  numbers  of '  Salma- 
gundi,' conducted  by  Irving  and  his  literary  clique,  whose 
career  was  then  just  commencing.  These  papers  were  read 
aloud  in  the  family  with  great  enjoyment  of  their  fresh 


BEHINISCEKCES  OF  LITCHFIELD. 


2^1 


and  piquant  humor.  After  we  moved  to  Litchfield,  Uncle 
Samuel  came  among  us,  on  his  return  from  each  voyage,  as 
a  sort  of  brilliant  genius  of  another  sphere,  bringing  gifts 
and  wonders  that  seemed  to  wake  new  faculties  in  all. 
Sometimes  he  came  from  the  shores  of  Spain,  with  memen- 
toes of  the  Alhambfa  and  the  ancient  Moors ;  sometimes 
from  Africa,  bringing  Oriental  caps  or  Moorish  slippers ; 
sometimes  from  South  America,  with  ingots  of  silver,  or 
strange  implements  from  the  tombs  of  the  Incas,  or  ham- 
mocks wrought  by  the  Southern  Indian  tribes.  With  these 
came  exciting  stories  of  his  adventures,  and  of  the  interest- 
ing persons  of  various  lands  whom  he  had  carried  as  pas- 
sengers on  his  ship  on  such  foreign  shores. 

"He  was  a  man  of  great  practical  common  sense,  united 
withr large  ideality,  a  cultivated  taste,  and  very  extensive 
reading.  With  this  was  combined  a  humorous  combative- 
ness,  that  led  him  to  attack  the  special  theories  and  preju- 
dices of  his  friends,  sometimes  jocosely  and  sometimes  in 
good  earnest. 

"  Of  course 'he  and  father  were  in  continual  good-natured 
skirmishes,  in  which  all  New  England  peculiarities  of  theol- 
ogy or  of  character  were  held  up  both  in  caricature  and  in 
sober  verity. 

"I  remember  long  discussions  in  which  he  maintained 
that  the  Turks  were  more  honest  than  Christians,  bringing 
very  startling  facts  in  evidence.  Then  I  heard  his  serious 
tales  of  Roman  Catholic  bishops  and  archbishops  he  had 
carried  to  and  from  Spsdn  and  America,  whom  he  affirmed 
to  be  as  learned  and  as  truly  pious  and  devoted  to  the  good 
of  men  as  any  Protestant  to  be  found  in  America.  His  ac- 
count of  the  Jews  in  Morocco  was  most  curious;  their  con- 
dition appearing,  even  to  his  skeptical  mind,  the  strongest 
verification  of  Hebrew  prophecy.  •  Poor,  ignorant,  despised, 


222  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 

abused  in  every  way,  and  offered  the  privileges  and  dignity 
of  Mnssulmen  if  tbey  would  relinquish  their  faith,  they  still 
dung  to  their  sacred  books  and  their  despised  people  with 
the  pertinacity  and  heroism  of  martyrs. 

^'  The  new  fields  of  vision  presented  by  my  uncle,  the  skill 
and  adroitness  of  his  arguments,  the  array  of  his  facts,  com- 
bined to  tax  father's  powers  to  their  utmost. 

^'  In  the  literary  circle  of  Litchfield,  especially  to  the  fe- 
male portion,  Unde  Samuel  appeared  as  a  sort  of  hero  of  ro- 
mance. He  spoke  French  with  ease,  and  made  such  profi- 
ciency in  the  Spanish  tongue  that  a  Spanish  gentleman  once, 
after  conversing  with  him,  remarked  that,  were  he  to  meet 
him  in  any  part  of  the  world,  he  should  know  he  was  bom 
in  Castile. 

"  Whenever  he  came  to  Litchfield  he  brought  a  stock  of 
new  books,  which  be  and  Aunt  Mary  read  aloud.  This  was 
the  time  when  Scott,  Byron,  Moore,  and  that  great  galaxy 
of  contemporary  writers  were  issuing  their  works  at  inter- 
vals of  oi^y  a  few  months,  all  of  which  were  read  and  re- 
read in  the  family  circle. 

^  Such  a  woman  as  Aunt  Mary  naturally  attracted  the  at- 
tention of  the  law  students,  who  visited  freely  in  the  families 
of  the  town.  These  gentlemen  also  entered  with  enthusi- 
asm into  her  pursuits  and  tastes,  so  that  the  associations  of 
general  society  were  in  a  measure  modified  by  her  uncon- 
scious but  pervading  influence. 

^'  Two  other  persons  should  be  introduced,  who,  during 
our  whole  Litchfield  life,  were  constant  visitors  or  inmates 
of  our  family.  Mrs.  Deveaux  was  the  orphan  daughter  of  a 
British  officer,  and  the  ward  of  John  Murray,  one  of  the  old- 
est and  wealthiest  families  of  New  York.  At  fifteen  she 
married  Dr.  Deveaux,  and  resided  in  Camden,  South  Caro- 
lina, till  his  death,  when  she  returned  with  her  only  child 


REMIKISCENCES  OF  LITCHPIELD.  223 

Theodosia,  and  became  a  resident  in  Litchfield.  Mrs.  De- 
veaux  was  an  indulged  child,  lively,  witty,  unreasonable,  and 
a  most  unmerciful  talker.  Warin-hearted,  intelligent,  and 
very  appreciative,  she  immediately  became  a  great  admirer 
of  mother  and  Aunt  Mary.  Theodosia  was  just  my  age — a 
bright,  gentle,  timid  girl,  with,  much  natural  delicacy  and 
common  sense.  We  immediately  formed  a  warm  friend- 
ship, which  was  cordially  cherished  by  her  mother.  Many 
people  regarded  Mrs.  Deveaux  as  a  rattle  and  a  bore ;  but 
mother  saw  her  good  qualities,  felt  a  tender  sympathy  for 
her  and  her  child,  and  made  them  so  happy  with  us  that 
they  seemed  almost  a  part  of  the  family.  When  grown  up, 
Theodosia  boarded  with  us  some  time,  and  at  last  was  mar- 
ried at  our  house.  Mrs.  Deveaux  made  every  one  around 
her  acquainted  with  all  her  friends,  her  surroundings,  and 
her  history,  and  Theodosia  was  full  of  narratives  of  her  New 
York  and  South  Carolina  life.  Thus  we  had  an  outlook  into 
phases  of  life  diverse  from  ours,  which  was  both  instruptive 
and  amusing. 

*^But  father  had  another  home,  of  which  we  must  give 
some  account,  for  some  of  the  happiest  hours  of  his  life  were 
spent  there.  Judge  Reeve,  who  resided  at  the  other  end 
of  the  town,  was  his  chief  counselor  and  friend,  while  Mrs. 
Reeve  was  no  less  intimate  with  mother. 

*'  The  judge  was  noted  for  his  chivalrous  devotion  to  wom- 
an both  in  and  out  of  the  domestic  circle.  His  first  wife — 
the  sister  of  Aaron  Burr — ^was  a  delicate  invalid,  confined 
to  her  bed  for  many  years,  and  various  interesting  stories 
were  told  of  his  tender  watching  and  unwearied  care.  He 
was  a  great  admirer  of  female  beauty  and  also  of  female  tal- 
ent, and  various  anecdotes  were  current  of  his  chivalrous 
sayings.  Among  others,  this  specially  attracted  my  child- 
ish interest,  Hhat  he  never  saw  a  little  girl  but  he  wi 


224  AUTOBIOaBAPHY. 

to  kiss  her,  for  if  she  was  Qot  good  she  wonld  be ;  and  he 
never  saw  a  little  boy  but  he  wbhed  to  whip  him,  for  if  he 
was  not  bad  he  would  be.' 

*'  Judge  and  Mrs.  Reeve  were  as  peculiar  in  their  person- 
al appearance  as  in  their  character.  He  had  a  pair  of  soft 
dark  eyes  of  rare  beauty,  a  beaming  expression  of  intelli- 
gence and  benevolence,  while  his  soft  gray  hair  fell  in  silver 
tresses  to  his  shoulders  in  a  style  peculiar  to  himself.  His 
figure  was  large  and  portly,  and  his  manners  gentle  and  dig- 
nified. His  voice  was  singular,  having  failed  from  some  un- 
known cause,  so  that  he  always  spoke  in  a  whisper,  and  yet 
so  distinctly  that  a  hundred  students  at  once  could  take 
notes  as  he  delivered  his  law  lectures. 

^*  Mrs.  Reeve  was  the  largest  woman  I  ever  saw,  with  a 
full,  ruddy  face,  that  had  no  pretensions  to  beauty;  but  her 
strong  and  cultivated  mind,  her  warm  and  generous  feelings, 
and  her  remarkable  conversational  powers  made  her  a  uni- 
versal favorite.  She  was  both  droll  and  witty,  while  she 
made  so  much  sport  of  her  own  personal  appearance  that  it 
removed  all  feeling  of  its  disadvantages. 

*^  At  this  time  Judge  Reeve  had  taken  home  the  widow 
and  infant  boy  of  his  only  child.  Burr  Reeve,  who  died  just 
before  father's  removal  to  Litchfield.  Young  Mrs.  Reeve 
was  a  tall,  graceful,  and  very  beautiful  woman,  and  little 
Burr  Reeve  one  of  the  most  perfect  specimens  of  infant 
beauty. 

**  Another  inmate  of  this  family  was  Miss  Amelia  Ogden, 
an  orphan,  who  held  the  place  of  a  daughter  in  the  house- 
hold. She  was  a  lady  of  cultivated  tastes  and  great  enthu- 
siasm in  all  her  feelings  and  pursuits.  Her  flower-beds  were 
a  marvel  of  beauty  and  splendor  to  my  youthful  eyes,  and 
exceeded  any  thing  of  the  kind  in  that  vicinity. 

*^  This  family  circle  would  be  incomplete  without  the  good 


s 


BEMINISCENCEB   OF  LITCHFIELD.  225 

Polly  Barnes,  friend,  nnrse,  cook,  and  family  counselor.  It 
was  in  Polly's  department  that  father  felt  himself  as  much 
at  home  in  dressing  a  trout  and  presiding  over  the  gridiron 
as  in  his  own  kitchen. 

"Judge  Reeve  was  an  eminently  pious  man,  and  entered 
with  the  deepest  sympathy  into  all  father's  parochial  plans 
and  cares ;  so  a  call  at  Judge  Reeve's  was  the  usual  com- 
pletion of  evening  meetings  and  preaching  excursions.  On 
the  other  hand,  Mrs.  Reeve,  who  mainly  depended  on  a  chaise 
for  locomotion,  was  almost  as  frequent  a  visitor  at  our  house. 
She  and  mother  used  to  read  aloud  to  each  other.  Miss 
Hannah  More,  who  then  was  the  star  of  the  religious  world, 
was  a  special  favorite.  They  also  read  together  Milner's 
large  Church  History.  Buchanan's  'Travels  in  the  East' 
first  woke  the  religious  world  to  the  spirit  of  missions ;  and 
I  remember  with  what  glowing  Enthusiasm  it  was  read  and 
discussed  by  father,  mother,  and  Mrs.  Reeve. 

"No  less  distinguished  in  point  of  literary  cultivation  was 
the  family  of  Judge  Gould,  for  many  years  associated  with 
Judge  Reeve  in  the  law  school,  and  afterward  its  principal. 
He  was  of  fine  personal  appearance,  polished  manners,  ex- 
tensive acquaintance  with  the  English  classics,  and  in  all 
matters  of  rhetorical  or  verbal  criticism  his  word  was  law. 
His  wife  was  in  no  way  infefior  to  him  in  general  informa- 
tion and  brilliant  conversational  powers.  The  judge  was 
fond  of  disputing  with  father,  in  a  good-natured  way,  the 
various  points  of  orthodoxy  handled  in  his  discourses,  par- 
ticularly the  doctrine  of  total  depravity.  And  in  a  letter 
written  during  the  last  war,  when  party  feeling  ran  high — 
the  Democrats  for  and  the  Federalists  against  French  influ- 
ence— ^he  sent  a  humorous  message :  *  Tell  Mr.  Beecher  I  am 
improving  in  orthodoxy.  I  have  got  so  far  as  this,  that  I 
believe  in  the  total  depravity  of  the  whole  French  nation.' 

K2 


226  AUTOBIOOBAFHT. 

"  Among  those  most  intimately  connected  with  father  and 
his  family  daring  his  whole  Litchfield  life  was  Miss  Sarah 
Fierce,  a  woman  of  more  than  ordinary  talent,  sprightly  in 
conversation,  social,  and  full  of  benevolent  activity.  She 
was  an  earnest  Christian,  and,  being  at  the  head  of  a  large 
school  of  yonng  ladies,  found  frequent  occasions  for  seeking 
counsel  and  aid  from  her  pastor.  In  return,  she  gave  gratu- 
itous schooling  to  as  many  of  our  children  as  father  chose  to 
send,  for  occasionally  young  boys  found  admission. 

'^^  Her  school-house  was  a  small  building  of  only  one  room, 
probably  not  exceeding  30  feet  by  70,  with  small  closets  at 
each  end,  one  large  enough  to  hold  a  piano,  and  the  others 
used  for  bonnets  and  over -garments.  The  plainest  pine 
desks,  long  plank  benches,  a  small  table,  and  an  elevated 
teacher^s  chair,  constituted  the  whole  furniture.  When  I  be- 
gan school  there  she  was  sole  teacher,  aided  occasionally  by 
her  sister  in  certain  classes,  and  by  her  brother-in-law  in  pen- 
manship. At  that  time  *  the  higher  branches'  had  not  en- 
tered female  schools.  Map-drawing,  painting,  embroidery, 
and  the  piano  were  the  accomplishments  sought,  and  history 
was  the  only  study  added  to  geography,  grammar,  and  arith- 
metic. In  process  of  time,  her  nephew,  Mr.  John  Brace,  be- 
came her  associate,  and  introduced  a  more  extended  course. 
At  the  time  father  came,  the  reputation  of  Miss  Pierce's 
school  exceeded  that  of  any  other  in  the  country. 

"  Thus,  while  Judge  Reeve's  law  school  attracted  the 
young  nien  from  all  quarters,  the  town  was  radiant  with 
blooming  maidens  both  indigenous  and  from  abroad. 

^^Miss  Pierce  had  a  great  admiration  of  the  English  clas 
sics,  and  inspired  her  pupils  with  the  same.    She  was  a  good 
reader,  and  often  quoted  or  read  long  passages  of  poetry, 
and  sometimes  required  her  pupils  to  conmiit  to  memory 
choice  selections.    Her  daily  counsels  were  interspersed 


RSMINIBCSNGES   OF  LTTCHFIELD.  227 

with  quotations  from  EngKsh  classics.  Even  the  rales  of 
her  school,  read  alond  every  Saturday,  were  rounded  off 
in  Johnsonian  periods,  which  the  roguish  girls  sometimes 
would  most  irreverently  burlesque. 

"  Her  great  hobby  was  exercise  for  healthy  in  which  she 
set  the  example  by  a  morning  and  evening  walk,  exhorting 
daily  her  pupils  to  the  same.  In  consequence,  every  pleas- 
ant evening  witnessed  troops  of  young  people  passing  and 
repassing  through  the  broad  and  shaded  street  to  and  from 
the  favorite  Prospect  Hill.  Of  course  the  fashion  extended 
to  the  law  students,  and  thus  romances  in  real  life  abound- 
ed on  every  side.  Multitudes  of  fathers  and  mothers  in  this 
nation  have  narrated  to  their  children  these  evening  strolls 
as  the  time  when  their  mutual  attachment  began. 

^^Miss  Pierce  had  a  quiet  relish  for  humor  and  fun  that 
made  her  very  lenient  toward  one  who  never  was  any  special 
credit  to  her  as  a  pupil.  During  the  whole  of  my  training 
under  her  care, 'with  the  exception  of  practicing  on  the  pia- 
no, map-drawing,  and  a  little  painting,  I  did  little  else  than 
play.  There  was  a  curious  fashion  among  the  girls  of  help- 
ing themselves  by  guessing,  which  I  practiced  so  adroitly 
that,  with  a  few  snatches  at  my  books,  I  slipped  through  my 
recitations  as  a 'tolerably  decent  scholar.  Occasionally  my 
kind  teacher  wondered  how  and  when  my  lessons  were 
learned,  and  complimented  me  as  the  'busiest  of  all  crea- 
tures in  doing  nothing.' 

"  There  was  one  custom  in  Puritan  New  England  at  that 
day  which  was  a  curious  contrast  to  other  points  of  strict- 
ness, and  that  was  to  close  a  school-term  with  a  dramatic 
exhibition.  Miss  Pierce  not  only  patronized  this,  but  wrote 
several  very  respectable  dramas  herself  for  such  occasions  in 
her  school,  and,  when  the  time  approached,  all  other  school 
duties  were  intermitted.   A  stage  was  erected,  scenery  was 


228  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

painted  and  hnng  in  true  theatre  style,  "while  all  the  ward- 
robes of  the  commanity  were  ransacked  for  stage  dresses. 
On  one  occasion  of  this  kind  I  had  a  hand  in  a  merry  joke 
enacted  at  one  of  the  rehearsals  of  Miss  Pierce's  favorite 
drama  of '  Jephtha's  Daughter.' 

*^  It  was  when  Jephtha,  adorned  with  a  splendid  helmet 
of  gilt  paper  and  waving  ostrich  plnmes,  was  awaiting.the 
arrival  of  his  general,  Pedazar — ^bis  daughter's  lover — who 
was  to  enter  and  say, 

<* '  On  Jordan's  banks  proud  Amnion's  banners  wave.' 

Miss  Pierce  stood  looking  on  to  criticise,  when,  having  pre- 
arranged the  matter,  a  knock  was  heard,  and  I  ran  forward, 
saying,  *•  Walk  in,  Mr.  Pedazar.'  In  he  came,  helmet  and  all, 
saying,  *  How  are  you,  Jep  V  who  replied, '  Halloo,  old  fel- 
low !  walk  in  and  take  a  chair.'  Miss  Pierce  was  no  way 
discomfited,  but  seemed  to  relish  the  joke  as  much  as  we 
young  folks. 

*^  On  one  occasion  of  this  sort  father  came  in  late,  and  the 
house  being  packed,  he  was  admitted  by  the  stage  entrance. 
Either  from  accident  or  fun,  just  as  he  was  passing  over  the 
stage,  the  curtain  rose,  and  the  law  students  spied  him  and 
commenced  clapping.  Father  stopped,  bowed  low,  amid  re- 
newed clapping  and  laughter,  and  then  passed  on  to  his  seat. 

**It  was  in  this  way  that  dramatic  writing  and  acting  be- 
came one  of  the  *  nothings'  about  which  I  contrived  to  be 
busy  and  keep  others  so.  Various  little  dramas  were  con- 
cocted and  acted  between  the  school  sessions  in  wintry 
weather,  when  dinners  were  brought.  And  after  a  while, 
when  nearly  grown  up,  we  got  up  in  the  family,  very  pri- 
vately,* quite  an  affair  of  this  kind.  I  turned  Miss  Edge- 
worth's  ^Unknown  Friend'  into  a  drama,  and  for  some  weeks 
all  the  children  old  enough  to  take  part,  and  several  school- 


BEMINISCBNCSS   OF  LITCII7IELD.  229 

girls  boarding  with  us,  were  busy  as  bees  preparing  for  a 
rehearsal.  It  was  kept  a  profound  secret  till  the  appointed 
evening,  when  father  and  mother  wondered  who  built  a  fire 
in  the  large  parlor,  and  then,  still  more,  how  it  happened  that 
so  many  neighbors  and  students  called  all  at  once.  Then 
suddenly  the  dining-room  door  was  opened,  and  all  invited 
in,  while  a  mysterious  curtsun  was  descried  at  the  farther 
end.  The  curtain  rose,  and  forthwith  the  actors  appeared, 
and  completed  the  whole  entertainment  amid  ^  thunders  of 
applause.'  The  next  day,  however,  as  we  expected,  we  were 
told  that  it  was  very  well  done,  but  we  must  not  do  so  any 
more. 

*'  These  somewhat  'desultory  reminiscences  may  serve  to 
show  how  different  was  father's  situation  at  Litchfield,  in 
point  of  social  privileges,  from  that  of  most  country  minis- 
ters. None  who  mingled  in  the  society  of  Litchfield,  from 
whatever  quarter,  or  of  whatever  nation,  but  jcherished  a 
lively  recollection  of  it  throughout  life.  When  Mrs.  Stowe 
was  at  Paris,  she  was  repeatedly  visited  by  an  aged  French 

gentleman,  Count ,  who  in  youth  had  spent  £ome  years 

at  Litchfield  as  a  student  at  the  la-w  school.  His  family  was 
exiled  in  the  first  Revolution,  and  he  had  been  placed  there 
to  be  educated  at  the  bar.  Although  since  his  return  he 
had  moved  in  the  highest  circles,  yet,  in  conversation  with 
Mrs.  Stowe,he  dwelt  with  enthusiasm  on  the  society  of  Litch- 
field, which  he  declared  was  the  most  charming  in  the  world. 


230  AUT0BI06BAPHT. 


CHAPTER  XXXV. 

COBBESPONDENCE,  1810-11. 

Mr.  Beecher  to  Mrs,  Tondinson.* 

"August  7, 1810. 

'•'•  We  do  not  intend  you  shall  nod  unless  with  drowsiness 
in  reading  our  long  letters ;  for  truly  we  were  so  refreshed 
by  yours  that  wife  and  I  resolved  to  write  separately,  that 
we  might  have  room  to  pour  out  the  ideas  your  letter  stirred 
within. 

^^  As  for  my  wife,  if  she  is  not  so  obedient  to  her  husband 
as  you  are  to  yours,  she  is  still  obedient  enough  for  me.  I 
could  never  know  the  sweets  of  power  if  she  never  rebelled 
a  little,  just  so  as  to  try  my  strength,  and  manifest  the  pre- 
dominance of  her  conscience  over  her  will. 

"The  world,  Sarah, is  abused  in  two  ways.  It  is  sought 
as  a  portion,  and  sitteth  an  idol  in  the  temple  of  God ;  but 
failing  to  protect  and  comfort  us,  then,  like  other  idolaters, 
we  in  vexation  begin  to  vilify,  and  kick,  and  cuff  the  world. 
We  first  depend  upon  it  for  eveiy  thing,  and  then,  being 
disappointed,  we  vaunt  against  it  as  good  for  nothing,  a 
mere  '  old  barn  full  of  cobwebs.*  Now  all  this  is  true  if 
you  speak  of  the  world  (as  I  trust  you  do)  compared  with 
Christ ;  otherwise  I  should  deem  it  an  argument  of  vexa- 
tion, somewhat  analogous  to  that  of  the  fox  after  vun  exer- 
tions to  reach  the  grapes. 

"  You  can  not  speak  too  meanly  of  the  world  considered 
as  our  god ;  you  may  esteem  it  too  low  as  a  place  of  proba- 
tion, where  the  mercies  of  God  cluster  around  us,  new  every 

♦  Fonnerly  Sally  Hill,  of  Gjiilford. 


cobbespondIence,  1810-11.  231 

morning  and  fresh  every  nioment.  It  should  neither,  there- 
fore, be  pat  upon  the  throne  nor  trampled  in  the  mire,  for 
one  is  idolatry  and  the  other  ingratitude. 

"  There  is,  I  now  begin  to  recollect,  a  third  way  in  which 
the  world  is  abused,  and  that  is,  looking  at  all  its  objects 
through  a  pair  of  spectacles  which  clothes  them  in  sable  hue 
and  distorted  shapes. 

"Now  we  are  not  always  to  blame  for  looking  at  the 
world  through  such  spectacles,  because  they  are  put  on,  oft^ 
en,  by  an  invisible  hand,  and  kept  on  in  spite  of  us.  We  are 
to  blame  only  in  believing  that  they  give  us  a  fair  and  cor- 
rect view  of  things,  when  we  know  they  are  lying  specta- 
cles, and  that  there  is  verdure  and  beauty  where  all  seems 
black  and  deformed.  And  yet,  in  writing  to  friends^  how 
often  do  wo  sit  down  with  these  same  spectacles  on,  and 
gravely  draw  and  send  to  them  a  lying  landscape,  and  mourn 
ourselves,  and  call  on  them  to  mourn  for  such  sad  things. 

"  Yerily,  as  thou  sayest,  if  thou  and  I  had  got  together 
by  any  wayward  accident,  we  should  have  been  able  to  deal, 
I  doubt  not,  wholesale  and  retail  in  such  paintings.  And 
verily,  I  say  again,  if  it  had  not  been  for  this  same  coinci- 
dence of  delusion,  who  can  tell  if  thou  and  I  had  not  been 
journeying  cheerfully  together  through  this  vale  to  a  better 
world.  But  thou  neededst  a  husband  to  tell  thee  how  the 
world  looked  when  thine  eyes  were  dim,  and  I  needed  a 
wife  to  pull  off  these  same  lying  spectacles,  and  so  the  Lord 
in  mercy  kept  us  asunder,  and  gave  us  each,  I  trust,  a  help 
meet  for  us.  But,  my  dear  friend,  there  are  no  clouds  in 
heaven,  and  nothing  that  defileth  and  maketh  a  lie.  There 
every  object  is  beautiful,  and  there  we  shall  see  as  we  are 
seen" and  know  as  we  are  known,  and  God  shall  wipe  away 
all  tears  frop  every  eye. 

"N.B. — The  doctor  is  hereby  authorized  to  read  al'  T 


232  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

write  to  you,  and,  if  he  shonld  not  disapprove  of  the  propo- 
sal, why  then,  if  yon  will  write  to  me,  yon  may  tell  the  world 
you  correspond  with  the  author  of  that  sermon,"* 

Mrs.  Beecher  to  EstJier. 

*<  JftB.  13, 1811. 

^^I  received  your  letter  not  long  since  containing  some 
wrathful  expressions,  and  do  accept  the  chastisement  of  my 
sins.  Would  now  write  you  a  long  letter,  if  it  were  not  for 
several  vexing  circumstances,  such  as  the  weather  extreme- 
ly cold,  stonn  violent,  and  no  wood  cut ;  Mr.  Beecher  gone ; 
and  Sabbath  day,  with  company — a  clergyman,  a  stranger; 
Catharine  sick ;  George  almost  so ;  Rachel's  finger  cut  o% 
and  she  crying  and  groaning  with  the  pain.  Mr.  Beecher  is 
gone  to  preach  at  New  Hartford,  and  did  not  provide  ns 
wood  en6ugh  to  last,  seeing  the  weather  has  grown  so  ex- 
ceedingly cold.  ♦  ♦  ♦  As  for  reading,  I  average  per- 
haps one  page  a  week,  besides  what  I  do  on  Sundays.  I  ex- 
pect to  be  obliged  to  be  contented  (if  I  can)  with  the  stock 
of  knowledge  I  already  possess,  except  what  I  can  glean 
from  the  conversation  of  others.  *  *  *  Mary  has,  I  sup- 
pose, told  you  of  the  discovery  that  the  fixed  alkalies  are 
metallic  oxyds.  I  first  saw  the  notice  in  the  *  Christian  Ob- 
server.' I  have  since  seen  it  in  an  ^Edinburgh  Review.' 
The  former  mentioned  that  the  metals  have  been  obtained 
by  means  of  the  galvanic  battery ;  the  latter  mentions  an- 
other, and,  they  say,  better  mode.  I  think  this  is  all  the 
knowledge  I  have  obtained  in  the  whole  circle  of  arts  and 
sdences  of  late ;  if  you  have  been  more  fortunate,  pray  let 
me  reap  the  benefit. 

^^  Your  brother  talks  of  going  to  Boston  next  spring,  and 
you  must  come  and  spend  the  time  of  his  absence  with  me. 

*  On  Dueling. 


COBBBSPOKDEKCE,  1810-11.  233 

I  think  if  we  can  get  both  yon  and  Mary  Habbard  np  here 
at  that  time,  we  may  make  it  both  pleasant  and  profitable." 

Mary  Hubhard  to  Esther. 

"Sept.  11, 1811. 
*  "I  do  not  feel  inclined  to  leave  Litchfield  for  any  other 
place  jnst  now.  When  I  have  staid  long  enough  to  grow 
warm  in  the  place  (as  Foster  says),  and  have  made  myself 
at  home  there,  with  a  circle  about  me  that  I  know  and  am 
known  to,  I  feel  like  a  bird  driven  from  her  nest  and  forced 
to  make  a  new  one.  And  at  Nutplains  all  is  desolation  to 
me.  Yot^  know  what  a  dreariness  the  death  of  one  we  loved 
makes  in  the  scenes  where  we  enjoyed  their  society.  It 
does  not  seem  to  me  as  it  did  when  Catharine  was  gone 
away  to  return,  again ;  but  now  I  miss  her  in  my  room,  in 
the  house,  in  my  walks,  and  when  I  ride. 

"John  brought  up  the  *  Vision  of  Roderick,'  a  poem  by 
Walter  Scott.    Do  tell  me  about  Scott." 

Mary  JBvhbard  to  Mrs.  Beecher. 

"New  York. 
"I  have  been  for  several  days  so  low  in  spirits  that  I 
thought  it  best  not  to  write  you  until  the  clouds  should  be 
passed  away,  but  upon  second  thoughts  I  have  altered  my 
determination,  and  have  concluded  that  the  most  efiectual 
way  to  break  the  charm  would  be  by  writing  to  you.  I  am, 
in  truth,  so  home-sick  for  Litchfield,  that  I  would  set  off  this 
very  day  to  get  back  again.  I  do  not  know  why^  but  I  can 
not  live  with  any  body  but  you.  The  reason  is,  perhaps, 
that  nobody  knows  my  disposition  as  well  as  you,  and  an- 
other reason,  perhaps,  is,  that  no  one  will  put  up  with  so 
much  from  me  as  you  do.  But,  whatever  the  cause  is — slv'^ 
you  are  likely  enough  to  guess  it — the /a<!t  is,  that  I  can 


284  ,  AUT0BI06BAPHT. 

Stay  any  where  with  much  comfort  but  at  your  house.  I 
would  not  have  you  think  that  I  have  any  ostensible  reason 
to  complain,  for  John  and  Jane  are  very,  very  good,  and  have 
no  suspicion  but  what  I  am  as  well  contented  as  they  are 
themselves.  But  I  every  day  think  of  ten  thousand  agree- 
able circumstances  of  my  residence  with  you — your  society, 
conversation,  example,  affection,  and  all  that  has  made  my 
past  life  of  any  worth  to  me,  and  I  feel  that  I  want  to  go 
home  again.  ' 

"  The  events  of  my  life,  which  have  been  indeed  disas- 
trous, have  given  a  cohr  to  my  mind,  and  altered  the  tone 
of  my  feelings.  A  thousand  little  things  affect  me  now, 
which  to  a  sound  mind  and  heart  would  pass  by  as  the  idle 
wind,  while  to  me  they  are  as  thorns  and  vexations  to  my 
spirit. 

*'  You  will,  I  dare  say,  understand  the  case  better  than  I 
can  state  it,  and  you  see  how  it  is  with  me.    ♦    ♦    * 

"  I  wish  every  day  I  could  go  down  with  you  and  see  Mrs. 
Reeve  and  the  judge,  and  regret  that  I  did  not  see  them 
oflener  when  I  was  where  I  could.  I  am  resolved,  when  I 
come  again,  to  see  them  every  day.  I  charge  you  to  im- 
prove your  opportunities  of  visiting  them  faithfully,  for  you 
will  not  often  meet  with  their  like  in  this  world.  In  the 
next  we  shall  have  no  lack  of  such  society — I  mean  in  abet- 
ter world. 

"  Probably,  however,  my  lot  in  life  is  not  cast  in  Litch- 
field, and  I  must  not  love  it  too  well.  From  my  own  knowl- 
edge of  myself,  and  from  my  observations  on  the  dispensa- 
tions of  Providence  toward  me,  I  find  it  is  best  that  I  should 
not  have  what  is  considered  a  home  in  this  world,  nor  any 
very  great  inducements  to  love  it  much.  I  should  not  be 
moderate  in  my  attachments,  and  therefore  I  am  prevented 
in  every  way  from  becoming  too  strongly  attached.    I  am 


COBBESPONBEKGE,  1810-11.  235 

convinced  of  the  goodness  .of  God  in  this  as  well  as  in  all 
His  providences,  and  I  fervently  hope  I  shall  become  fully 

'submissive.    But  there  is  a  fountain  of  bitter  waters  in  the 
heart.    I  feel  it  is  true  of  mine  more  and  more.    ♦    ♦    * 

'^  You  have  probably  heard  of  the  famous  actor  Cooke — a 
second  Garrick,  a  more  than  Roscins.  Well,  John  and  Sam- 
uel took  me  to  the  theatre  to  see  this  wonder.  He  appear- 
ed in  Ricbard  HI.,  and  the  house  shouted  applause ;  but  I 
wished  myself  out  of  the  house,  and  resolved  never  again  to 
enter  it.  There  was  not  a  spark  of  nature  in  his  acting,  nor 
talent,  nor  genius.  I  was  amazed,  and  am  still,  at  the  pub- 
lic taste ;  but  I  am  railed  at  if  I  express  my  opinion.  As  I 
never  was  at  the  theatre  before,  I  had  an  opportunity  of  de- 
ciding whether  I  approved  of  theatric  amusements ;  and  I 
am  decidedly  of  opinion  that  it  is  not  a  fit  place  for  a  decent 

•  woman  to  be  seen  in,  much  less  for  women  ^  professing  god- 
liness.' " 

7%e  Same. 

"New  York. 

'^I  should  rejoice  to  return  to  you;  for  I  might  go  the 
world  over,  and  mingle  in  what  society  I  would,  and  yet, 
with  good  reason,  wish  for  some  of  which  you  can  boast ; 
such  as  we  do  not  often  find ;  such  as  I  wish,  for  the  sake 
of  others,  were  more  frequently  met  with ;  but  who  can  show 
us  such  another  man  as  Judge  Reeve,  or  such  a  woman  as 
his  wife  and  many  more  I  could  menti^on  among  your  list  of 
friends?    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

"  I  went  last  evening  to  hear  the  famous  Dr.  Mason.  He 
is  a  sort  of  god  here  among  a  certain  class,  who  run  after 
and  worship  him,  as  another  class  did  Cooke  the  great  ac- 
tor. The  house  was  full,  and  as  still  as  if  each  one  held  his 
breath  for  fear  of  losing  a  word  from  their  idol's  lips.    He 


236  AUTOBIOaBAPHT. 

preached  od  the  second  commandment,  on  the  sin  of  idola- 
try. He  is  beyond  all  question  a  man  possessing  a  most 
powerful  mind.  His  manner  is  dogmatical,  stem,  and  even' 
coarse  at  times;  his  sentences  condensed  to  abruptness,  but 
his  meaning  always  plain ;  his  thoughts  are  boldly  express- 
ed, and  he  has  thoughts  in  abundance.  He  had  no  notes  at 
all,  but  what  he  said  was  true,  and  he  preached  it  authorita- 
tively: 'If  there  is  any  man  present  who  disbelieves  these 
things,!  have  no  argument  with  him.'  He  had  occasion  to 
mention  the  necessity  of  revelation  to  a  correct  knowledge 
of  God :  *  Some  men  do  indeed  say  that  we  can  ''  look 
through  nature  up  to  nature's  God ;"  it  is  a  lie  P  and  this 
he  uttered  in  a  tone  that  echoed  over  the  church.  Twenty 
times  I  was  compelled  to  smother  a  laugh  at  the  strangeness, 
the  force,  and  the  oddity  of  his  expressions,  which  came  bolt 
out  upon  you,  and  made  the  gazers  stare  again.  I  nevei^ 
saw  any -thing  to  compare  with  the  manner  he  has  of  expos- 
ing the  thing  he  reprobates  to  ridicule.  He  has  the  Ian* 
guage  of  contempt  and  sneer  in  his  outward  man  beyond 
any  thing  I  ever  saw  before.  If  he  does  not  persuade  men 
by  the  sweetness  and  grace  of  benevolence  to  love  religion, 
he  ridicules  them  for  being  sinners,  sneers  at  their  depravity, 
and  makes  his  congregation  look  like  dogs  that  have  been 
whipped.  I  am  not,  on  the  whole,  surprised  at  his  fame.  It 
is  the  power  of  great  over  little  minds.  The  mass  will  ac- 
quiesce, admire,  worship  almost,  even  though  this  superior 
spirit  domineer  and  dictate  ever  so  imperiously." 

The  Same. 

«« New  York. 
c(    ♦    *    *    J  never  think  of  you  and  your  family  with- 
out having  the  Reeves  in  my  mind ;  you  seem  so  intimately 
associated  that  I  think  of  you  as  one  family.    I  can  hardly 


COBKESPOKDXNCB,  1810^11.  237 

wait  for  the  time  to  come  when  I  shall  be  again  with  yon ; 
but  I  have  a  sort  of  foreboding  that  next  summer  will  pass 
off  as  the  last  one  did,  and  I  shall  not  go  over  Jordan  to  the 
land  of  promise,  *  *  *  I  presume  you  continue  to  take 
the  ^Christian  Observer.'  It  has  become  very  popular  in 
our  circle.  You  must  have  read  their  review  of  '  Childe 
Harold.'  I 'don't  know  what  has  ever  more  gratified  me. 
In  point  of  elegance  and  critical  ability  it  excels  any  thing 
of  the  kind  I  have  ever  seen  in  the  Edinburgh  Reviews,  and 
the  solemnity  of  their  address  to  him  in  the  conclusion  is 
unequaled. 

"  *  *  *  I  can  not  tell  you  what  I  am  doing  this  win- 
ter. Having  no  specific  employment  which  is  the  business 
of  my  life,  no  cares,  I  am  constantly  full  of  care  and  full  of 
business.  This  is  a  sort  of  paradox,  which  you,  however, 
fully  understand.  Indeed,  I  have  so  many  things  which  no 
other  persons  but  yourselves  care  enough  about  me  to  un- 
derstand, that  it  is  one  great  source  of  my  anxiety  to  get 
back  again,  where  I  can  find  counselors  and  comforters  suit- 
ed to  my  needs.  Love  to  all  friends,  to  the  children,  and 
ZiUah  and  Rachel." 

Mary  Hvbbard  to  Mr.  Beecher. 

"New  York. 
"  You  ask,  my  dear  brother,  why  we  can  not  speak  of  the 
state  of  our  minds  in  regard  to  their  spiritual  life.  I  know 
that  my  reasons  are  that  I  do  not  know  how  to  do  it  faith- 
fully, I  am  apprehensive,  always,  of  giving  too  high  a  char- 
acter, or  else  a  false  idea  of  the  exercises  of  my  mind.  An- 
other  reason  is,  that  I  do  not  know  how  to  distinguish,  my- 
self, between  what  is  the  animal  and  what  the  holy  affec- 
tions. When  I  feel  unusually  cheerful,  may  I  not  mistake 
the  happy  flow  of  animal  spirits  for  acquiescence  to  the  Di- 


238  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

vine  will  ?  If  you  will  assist  me  to  form  a  just  estimate  of 
the  nature  and  state  of  my  heart,  I  can  better  show  myself 
to  you.  And  in  so  doing  I  may  detect  many  an  unknown 
evil,  and  open  my  eyes  to  many  a  deception. 

^'  I  wish  to  know  what  your  opinion  of  Dr.  Clarke  is,  es- 
pecially of  his  *  Notes'  as  they  come  out.  * 

'^  Samuel  has  a  bag  of  coffee  for  you,  and  John  a  cane, 
which  they  don't  know  how  to  send. 

^'  I  am  glad  to  hear  such  accounts  of  the  children,  espe- 
cially Catharine.  She  has  so  much  intellect  that  it  is  your 
duty  to  pay  the  utmost  attention  to  the  temper,  so  that  we 
may  love  what  we  are  compelled  to  admire.  I  send  my  love 
to  her,  and  hope  to  find  a  companion  in  her  next  summer  if 
I  go  to  Litchfield." 

Mary  Hvbbard  to  E- P 


**  Another  letter  from  Litchfield,  recalling  again  all  the 
pleasing  features  of  life  there — ^Bozana  and  Ljrman  visiting, 
reading,  riding  together,  one  in  all  pursuit^,  and  duties,  and 
friendships.  How  peacefully  their  life  passes !  how  happi- 
ly !  how  usefully !    I  can  scarcely  restrain  my  impatience  to 

return.    I  can  not  describe  to  you,  dear  E ,  with  what 

eagerness  I  look  forward  to  regaining  again  my  place  in  this 
circle,  and  my  dependence  for  happiness  on  this  matchless 
sister — a  sister,  my  dear,  who  stepped  between  me  and  the 
grave,  and  gave  me  back  life  with  all  its  charms.  The  fresh- 
ness of  spring — the  tints  of  summer — ^the  voices  of  birds, 
and  winds,  and  waters — all  these  had  died  to  me,  and  I  had 
died  to  them  a  long  and  lingering  death  of  agony,  which  I 
can  not  even  now  bear  to  remember.  But  I  have  been  re- 
stored; I  have  experienced  a  renovation  of  being;  and,  un- 
der God,  it  is  to  her  that  I  owe  all." 


COBEBSPOJXDKSCEy  1811-12.  239 


CHAPTER  XXXVI. 

COBR£SPOND£NCE,  1811-12. 

Mr,  Seecher  to  Sen.Asahel  Hooker, 

<«  Litchfield,  Jan.  22, 1811. 

'^  My  dsab  Bkothsb, — ^Yonr  letter  came  daly  to  hand  on 
Sabbath  evening,  and  was  very  refreshing  after  the  toils  of 
the  day.  Its  contents  soon  became  common  property  be- 
tween ourselves  and  the  judge  and  his  wife.  We  were  glad 
to  perceive  that  it  was  written  in  a  manner  indicative  of  en- 
couragement rather  than  otherwise,  and  can  not  but  believe, 
as  well  as  hope,  that  it  is  the  purpose  of  God  to  make  yon 
eminently  useful  in  that  great  city,  where  there  are  so  many 
thousands  who  can  not  discern  between  their  right  hand  and 
their  left.  *  *  *  I  can  not  doubt  that  as  you  become 
acquainted  with  your  work  your  heart  will  be  in  it,  and  this 
being  the  case,  I  can  no  more  doubt  about  your  success  in 
extempore  speaking. 

^^  A  cold  heart,  and  pride,  and  sloth  are  the  only  formidable 
impediments  to  extempore  speaking  where  there  is  common 
sense  and  common  powers-  of  elocution  cultivated  by  a  lib- 
eral education.  I  would  by  no  means  give  up  the  pen  and 
that  application  to  study  which,  if  it  can  be,  never  will  be 
without  writing.  But  I  strongly  believe  that  the  man  who 
can  torite  toeU  and  speak  well  mthout  writing  is  much  more 
thoroughly  furnisUed  to  every  good  work  than  the  man 
who  ventures  to  communicate  only  what  is  both  premedi- 
tated and  written. 

"There  will  be  frequently  occurring  in  the  course  of  our 
ministry  certain  *  moUia  temporafandf  which  study  can  not 
anticipate  and  which  wisdom  can  not  neglect.    Then,  my 


240  AUTOmOGBAPHT. 

brother,  let  the  heart  dictate  sentiment,  and  language,  and 
manner  (pardon  me ;  I  am  no  professor  of  eloquence,  and  am 
not  writing  a  treatise  on  the  subject),  and  if  there  should  be 
ten  grammatical  blunders,  there  will  be,  to  balance  them, 
more  life,  and  emphasis,  and  impression,  and  more  good  done 
than  in  many  a  discourse  in  which  there  is  not  a  single  blunder. 

^^  I  mean  not  that  a  man  may  not  extemporize  with  gram- 
matical correctness ;  but  the  fear  of  mistake  often  keeps  us 
back,  and  locks  up  talent,  and  neglects  opportunities  of  ines- 
timable importance.  If  we  felt  less  concern  about  our  own 
reputation,  and  more  of  the  love  of  Christ  and  of  souls,  we 
should  oft;ener,  I  am  persuaded,  speak  with  fluency  and  pow- 
er. O  Lord,  increase  our  fSuth,  and  deliver  us  from  the  fear 
of  man  which  bringeth  a  snare,  and  give  us  a  mouth  and  wis- 
dom which  the  adversaries  of  God  shall  not  be  able  to  gun-, 
say  nor  resist ! 

"I  am  glad  to  hear  from  you  such  an  opinion  of  Mr.  Spring 
as  a  preacher,  and  that  he  is  likely  to  stand.  *  *  *  Do 
not  fail  to  send  me  the  tract  you  speak  of,  and  tell  me  the 
plan  of  the  sermon  when  it  is  done,  and  whether  it  detected 
any  body  settled  upon  their  lees.  Also  tell  me  a  little  partic- 
ularly about  that  *  terrible  alarm'  which  has  been  excited  in 
New  York  by  New  England  divinity.  How  was  it  express- 
ed ?  what  its  effect  ?  and  who  was  the  most  panic-struck? 

"My  family  are  all  well,  and  they  are  well  at  Judge 
Reeve's,  and  the  little  miss  at  Mr.  Homes's  is  well,  and  is 
contented,  and  behaves  well.  Mr.  Homes  is  very  attentive 
to  her,  and  is  well  pleased  with  his  charge.  Our  afl&irs  in 
the  Church  progress  slowly,  but  I  trust  correctly,  and  to  a 
salutary  issue.  The  Church  as  yet  have  taken  every  step  I 
have  desired  with  great  unanimity.  *  *  ♦  Write  speed- 
ily, and  what  you  lack  of  new  make  up  by  being  more  mi- 
nute upon  old  subjects ;  for  it  is  very  pleasing  to  us  here  to 


COKBE8PONDSMCS,  1811-12.  241 

talk  with  yon,  whether  you  bring  ont  of  yonr  treasare  things 
new  or  old.  You  were  remembered  earnestly  in  our  suppli- 
cations at  the  throne  of  grace  in  our  monthly  meeting,  aifd 
will  ever  be  remembered  by  your  friend  and  brother." 

TJie  Same. 

"Litchfield,  March,  1811. 

*'Long  apologies  I  always  think  in  a  letter  make  bad 
worse.  Want  of  matter  and  a  very  great  press  of  avoca- 
tions are  the  simple  causes  of  my  delaying  to  write  to  you 
in  due  season.  Having  now  somewhat  to  say  and  a  little 
leisure,  I  begin  by  informing  you  that  we  are  progressing 
with  our  Church  affairs  without  any  difiSculty  as  yet.  We 
have  received  three  confessions  for  intemperance.  *  *  * 
There  is  to  be  an  excommunication  next  Sabbath,  in  which 
the  Church  are  unanimous,  and  one  other  case  will,  I  expect, 
issue  speedily  in  the  same  w&y.  *  *  ♦  The  Church  seem 
to  be  united  and  firm  in  the  determination  to  restore  purity 
and  preserve  order.  When  the  stumbling-blocks  are  re- 
moved, we  hope  the  God  of  peace  will  return  and  bless  us 
with  another  day  of  His  power.  Some  tokens  of  His  pres- 
ence appear  already  in  several  new  cases  of  seriousness,  but 
there  is  nothing  general.    *    *    * 

'^  We  are  succeeding  remarkably  in  the  county  in  getting 
subscribers  to  the  Connecticut  Bible  Society,  especially  in 
this  town.  Judge  Reeve  is  the  agent  here,  and  manifests 
his  usual  zeal  and  activity,  and  meets  with  more  than  his 
usual  success.  *  *  *  Churchmen  and  Democrats,  Chris- 
tians and  men  of  the  world,  all  fall  into  the  ranks  on  this  oo- 
casion.  The  thing  is  the  most  popular  of  any  public  charity 
ever  attempted  in  Connecticut.  It  is  the  Lord's  doings,  and 
marvelous  in  our  eyes.  Mr.  Porter  is  the  agent  for  the 
county,  and  has  got  the  thing  in  motion,  I  believe,  in  every 

L 


242  AUTOBIOQSAFHT. 

town.  I  have  received  the  tract,  and  like  it,  and  thank  yon 
for  it.  Am  pleased,  also,  to  hear  that  it  appears  to  do  good, 
ahd  of  the  promising  appearances  of  your  two  last  meetings. 
May  the  Lord  give  yon  strength,  and  wisdom,  and  success  I 
I  condnde  by  this  time  yon  have  laid  aside  your  bearskins 
and  horns  of  new  divitdty,  and  appear  to  good  people  there 
in  the  shape  and  uze  of  a  man  and  a  Christian  minister.  If 
yon  do,  though,  as  respectable  people  have  apprehended, 
deny  original  sin^  and  justification  by  the  righteousness  of 
Christ,  and  hold  to  Arminian  tenets  about*  free  will,  why 
surely,  when  you  come  back,  the  Northern  Association,  I 
think,  must  investigate  the  matter,  and  stop  the  propagation 
of  heresy. 

^^Have  you  seen  the  sad  Bible  news  discovered  and  pub- 
lished by  Mr.  Worcester,  disclosing  that  Jesus  Christ  is  the 
Son  of  God  as  to  his  divine  nature,  not  created^  hut  denoed; 
not  the  one  eternal  Gk>d,but  the  Son,  to  whom,  by  Divine 
appointment.  Divine  honor  is  to  be  paid  ?  and  that  the  Holy 
Ghost  is  not  a  distinct  person — ^is  not  God,  but  something 
else,  I  forget  what  ?  Alas !  when  friends  and  foes  assail  the 
Savior,  He  had  need  to  be  very  God  to  uphold  His  betrayedt 
injured  cause,  and  vindicate  the  uncreated  and  underived 
glory  of  His  name.'' 

The  Same. 

H     '  "  Litchfield,  Feb.  24, 1812. 

«         *         *         * 

**  I  congratulate  you  on  your  pleasant  establishment  in  a 
part  of  the  vineyard  where  you  are  so  much  needed,  and 
where,  I  doubt  not,  your  influence  will  be  so  salutary.  When 
the  Litchfield  County  folks  wish  to  carry  any  good  plans  in 
General  Association,  it  is  a  consolation  to  know  that  we  have 
a  true  man  who  can  help  to  form  other  true  men  in  the  east- 


COBBBSPONDJCNGB,  1811-12.  248 

cm  part  of  the  state.    I  hope  yon  may  succeed  in  the  or- 
ganization of  cent  societies.    If  they  were  once  spread  over 

the  state,  their  combined  aid  might  do  much. 

*        *        ♦        ♦ 

'*  As  to  our  region,  we  are  rather  looking  up  with  hope 
than  desponding.  The  revival  in  Cornwall  is  a  great  and 
good  work  of  God,  steadily  progressing  to  this  time.  ItW 
gan  in  the  South  Parish,  and  until  lately  was  chiefly  con- 
fined to  it,  but  at  length  the  Christians  in  the  North  Parish 
awoke  and  began  to  pray^  and  now  the  work  is  extending 
there  also.  About  fifty,  in  the  whole,  have  obtamed  hope, 
forty  in  tho  South  and  ten  in  the  North  Parish.  The  num- 
ber of  the  awakened  has  never  been  so  great  at  any  time  as 
it  was  last  week,  when  Mr.  Harvey  was  there  at  a  monthly 
meetmg.  I  was  there  at  the  monthly  meeting  preceding 
the  last,  and  spent  sev^-al  days  there. 

^^  The  ministers  present  went  home,  I  trust,  revived.  We 
agreed  .at  this  meeting  upon  an  interchange  of  routine 
preaching,  between  the  Northwestern  and  Litchfield  South 
monthly  meetings.  Mr.  Harvey  and  myself  took  the  first 
tour,  to  see  the  brethren  and  get  the  thing  under  way.  We 
visited  the  two  Canaans,  Salisbury,  and  Sharon,  and  should 
have  visited  Cornwall  had  the  weather  permitted.  The  peo- 
ple in  the  Canaans  and  in  Salisbury  came  out  to  hear,  both 
afternoon  and  evening,  wonderfully.  Brothers  Prentiss  and 
Crossman,  and  their  wives  and  deacons,  seemed  to  be  much 
awake,  and  some  other  of  their  good  people.  At  Sharon  a 
storm  prevented  a  fiill  meeting ;  but  Brother  Perry  thinks 
that  some  of  his  good  people  are  beginning  X/opray.  Messrs. 
Crossman  and  Prentiss  are  to  take  the  southern  tour,  begin- 
ning at  Litchfield,  Tuesday,  the  tenth  of  March,  next.  In 
Goshen  many  good  people  are  wide  awake ;  four  have  ob- 
tfdned  hope,  and  six  persons  are  known  to  be  awakened. 


244  AUTOBIOOBAPHT. 

I  hear  reli^ous  meetings  are  crowded,  a  spirit  of  prayer 
prevails,  and  every  thing  assumes  the  appearance  of  a  re- 
vival. Of  Litchfield  I  can  not  say  so  much,  though  we  have, 
I  hope,  some  tokens  for  good.  Several  cases  of  hopeful  con- 
versions have  come  lately  to  my  knowledge,  and  some  new 
cases  of  awakening.  Our  Church  have  agreed  to  renew 
covenant,  and  to  keep  the  preceding  preparatory  lecture-day 
as  a  day  of  fasting  and  prayer.  I  am  myself  looking  on  the 
bright  side,  which  is  to  me  much  the  most  pleasant,  and, 
even  if  I  am  disappointed,  I  think,  on  the  whole,  the  most 
profitable.  My  family  is  well.  My  own  health  is  as  good 
as  usual.  Mrs.  Beecher  unites  with  me  in  assurances  of  af- 
fectionate regard  to  yourself,  Mrs.  Hooker,  and  your  family. 
In  haste.    I  am  yours  in  the  best  df  bonds. 

*^  Mr.  Porter  is  not  yet  gone  to  Andover.  It  is  doubtful 
whether  he  goes  till  spring,  unless  he  should  set  out  to-day 
in  a  sleigh.    His  health  is  improving." 


THE  TEMPERANCE  BEFORMATIOy.         245 


CHAPTER  XXXVn. 

THE  TEMFEBAKCE  BEFORMATION. 

Soon  after  my  arrival  at  Litchfield  I  was  called  to  attend 
the  ordination  at  Plymouth  of  Mr.  Heart,  ever  after  that  my 
very  special  friend.  I  loved  him  as  he  did  me.  He  said  to 
me  one  day, "  Beecher,  if  yoa  had  made  the  least  effort  to 
govern  as  yonng  men,  yon  would  have  had  a  swarm  of  bees 
about  you ;  but,  as  you  have  come  and  mixed  among  us,  you 
can  do  with  us  what  you  will.'* 

Well,  at  the  ordination  at  Plymouth,  the  preparation  for 
our  creature  comforts,  in  the  sitting-room  of  Mr.  Heart's 
house,  besides  food,  was  a  broad  sideboard  covered  with  de- 
canters and  bottles,  and  sugar,  and  pitchers  of  water.  There 
we  found  all  the  various  kinds  of  liquors  then  in  vogue. 
The  drinking  was  apparently  universal.  This  preparation 
was  made  by  the  society  as  a  matter  of  course.  When  the 
Consociation  arrived,  they  always  took  something  to  drink 
round ;  also  before  public  services^  and  always  on  their  re- 
turn. As  they  could  not  all  drink  at  once,  they  were  obliged 
to  stand  and  wait  as  people  do  when  they  go  to  mill. 

There  was  a  decanter  of  spirits  also  on  the  dinner-table, 
to  help  digestion,  and  gentlemen  partook  of  it  through  the 
afternoon  and  evening  as  they  felt  the  need,  some  more  and 
some  less ;  and  the  sideboard,  with  the  spillings  of  water, 
and  sugar,  and  liquor,  looked  and  smelled  like  the  bar  of  a 
very  active  grog-shop.  None  of  the  Consociation  were 
drunk;  but  that  there  was  not,  at  times,  a  considerable 
amount  of  exhilaration,  I  can  not  affirm. 


246  autobiookapht; 

When  they  had  all  done  drinking,  and  had  taken  pipes 
and  tobacco,  in  less  than  fifteen  minutes  there  was  such  a 
smoke  yon  couldn't  see.  And  the  noise  I  can  not  describe ; 
it  was  the  maximum  of  hilarity.  They  told  their  stories, 
and  were  at  the  height  of  jocose  talk.  They  were  not  old- 
fashioned  Puritans.  They  had  been  run  down.  Great  deal 
of  spirituality  on  Sabbath,  and  not  much  when  they  got 
where  there  was  something  good  to  drink.* 

I  think  I  recollect  some  animadversions  were  made  at  that 
time  by  the  people  on  the  amount  of  liquor  drank,  for  the 
tide  was  swelling  in  the  drinking  habits  of  society. 

The  next  ordination  was  of  Mr.  Harvey,  in  Groshen,  and 
there  was  the  same  preparation,  and  the  same  scenes  acted 
over,  and  then  afterward  still  louder  murmurs  from  the  so- 
ciety at  the  quantity  and  expense  of  liquor  consumed. 

These  two  meetings  were  near  together,  and  in  both  my 
alarm,  and  shame,  and  indignation  were  intense.  'Twas  that 
that  woke  me  up  for  the  war.  And  silently  I  took  an  oath 
before  Gk>d  that  I  would  never  attend  another  ordination  of 
that  kind.  I  was  full.  My  heart  kindles  up  at  the  thoughts 
of  it  now. 

There  had  been  already  so  much  alarm  on  the  subject, 
that  at  the  General  Association  at  Fairfield  in  1811,  a  com- 
mittee of  three  had  been  appointed  to  make  inquiries  and 
report  measures  to  remedy  the  evil.  A  committee  was  also 
appointed  by  the  Creneral  Association  of  Massachusetts  for 
the  same  purpose  that  same  month,  and  to  confer  with  oth- 
er bodies. 

*  The  writer  asked  the  late  Professor  Goodrich,  of  New  Hayen,  if  this 
would  not  seem  rather  overdrawn.  **  Overdrawn  ?*'  he  answered ;  *  'no, — 
only — take  clergymen  by  themselTes,  when  they  nnderstand  one  another, 
and  unbend  freely,  they  are  always  jocose ;  and  if  people  should  suppose 
that  this  was  the  only  side  of  their  character,  they  might  receive  an  exag- 
gerated impression.** 


/ 


THB  TEMPSBANCB  SKFOBHATION.  24? 

I  was  a  member  of  General  Association  which  met  in  the 
year  following  at  Sharon,  Jane,  1812,  when  said  jcommittee 
reported.  They  said  they  had  attended  to  the  subject  com- 
mitted to  their  care ;  that  intemperance  had  been  for  some 
time  increasing  in  a  most  alarming  manner;  bat  that,  after 
the  most  faithfal  and  prayerful  inquiry,  they  were  obliged  to 
confess  they  did  not  perceive  that  any  thing  could  be  done. 

The  blood  started  through  my  heart  when  I  heard  this, 
and  I  rose  instanter,  and  moved  that  a  committee  of  three 
be  appointed  immediately,  to  report  at  this  meeting  the 
ways  and  means  of  arresting  the  tide  of  intemperance* 

The  committee  was  named  and  appointed.  I  was  chair- 
man, and  on  the  following  day  brought  in  a  report,  the  most 
important  paper  that  ever  I  wrote. 

Abstract  qfliq>ort. 

**  The  General  Association  of  Connecticut,  taking  into  con- 
sideration {he  undue  .consumption  at  ardent  spirits,  the  enor- 
mous sacrifice  of  property  resulting,  the  alarming  increase 
of  intemperance,  the  deadly  ^ect  on  health,  intellect,  the 
iiunily,  sodety,  civil  and  religious  institutions,  and  especially 
in  nullifying  the  means  of  grace  and  destroying  souls,  rec- 
ommend, 

"  1.  Appropriate  discourses  on  the  subject  by  all  minis- 
'  ters  of  Association. 

"  2.  That  District  Associations  abstain  from  the  use  of  ar- 
dent spirits  at  ecclesiastical  meetings. 

*'  8.  That  members  of  Churches  abstain  from  the  unlawful 
vending,  or  purchase  and  use  of  ardent  spirits  where  unlaw- 
fully sold ;  exercise  vigilant  discipline,  and  cease  to  consider 
the  production  of  ardent  spirits  a  part  of  hospitable  enter- 
tainment in  social  visits. 

^^  4.  That  parents  cease  from  the  ordinary  use  of  ardent 


248  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

spirits  in  the  family,  and  warn  their  children  of  the  evils  and 
dangers  of  intemperance. 

^'5.  That  farmers,  mechanics,  and  manufacturers  substi- 
tute palatable  and  nutritious  drinks,  and  give  additional 
compensation,  if  necessary,  to  those  in  their  employ. 

*'  6.  To  circulate  documents  on  the  subject,  especially  a 
sermon  by  Rev.  E.  Porter  and  a  pamphlet  by  Dr.  Rush. 

*'  ^,  To  form  voluntary  associations  to  aid  the  civil  magis- 
trate in  the  execution  of  the  law* 

*'  And  that  these  practical  measures  may  not  be  rendered 
ineffectual,  the  Association  do  most  earnestly  eiltreat  their 
brethren  in  the  ministry,  the  members  of  our  churches,  and 
the  persons  who  lament  and  desire  to  check  the  progress  of 
this  evil,  that  they  neither  express  nor  indulge  the  melan- 
choly apprehension  that  nothing  can  be  done  on  this  subject ; 
a  prediction  eminently  calculated  to  paralyze  exertion,  and 
become  the  disastrous  cause  of  its  own  fulfillment.  For 
what  if  the  refoiination  of  drunkards  ]>e  hopeless,  may  we 
not  stand  between  the  living  and  the  dead,  and  pray  and  la- 
bor with  effect  to  stay  the  spreading  plague  ?  And  what  if 
some  will  perish  after  all  that  can  be  done,  shall  we  make 
no  effort  to  save  any  from  destruction,  because  we  may  not 
be  able  to  turn  away  every  one  from  the  path  of  ruin  ? 

^'  But  how  are  we  assured  that  nothing  can  be  done  ?  Is 
it  impossible  for  God  to  reform  and  save  us  ?  Has  He  made 
known  His  purpose  to  give  us  over  to  destruction  ?  Has  He 
been  accustomed  to  withhold  His  blessing  from  humble  ef- 
forts made  to  rescue  men  from  the  dominion  of  sin  ?  Have 
not  all  past  efforts  for  reformation  commenced  under  circum- 
stances of  apparent  discouragement,  and  all  great  achieve- 
ments usually  begun  in  little  things  ?  The  kingdom  of  heav- 
en was  itself,  in  the  beginning,  as  a  grain  of  mustard-seed, 
and  the  apostles,  had  they  consulted  appearances  only,  had 
never  made  an  effort  to  enlijrhten  the  world. 


THB  TEMPBJSANCB   BSFOBMATION.  249 

''Immense  eyils,  we  are  persuaded,  afflict  communities, 
not  because  they  are  incurable,  but  because  they  are  tolera- 
ted^ and  great  good  remains  often  unaccomplished  merely 
because  it  is  not  attempted. 

"  If  the  evil,  however,  were  trivial,  or  the  means  of  its  pre- 
vention arduous  and  uncertain,  despondency  would  be  less 
criminal ;  but  it  is  a  wasting  consumption,  fastening  upon 
the  vitals  of  society ;  a  benumbing  palsy,  'extending  to  the 
extremities  of  the  body ;  a  deep  and  rapid  torrent,  bearing 
the  wreck  of  nations  in  its  course,  and  undermining  rapidly 
the  foundations  of  our  own.  It  is  a  case,  therefore,  of  life 
and  death,  and  what  we  do  must  be  done  quickly,  for  while 
we  deliberate  our  strength  decays  and  our  foundations  tot- 
ter. 

''  Let  the  attention  of  the  public,  then,  be  called  up  to  this 
subject.  Let  ministers,  and  churches,  and  parents,  and  mag- 
istrates, and  physicians,  and  all  the  friends  of  civil  and  re- 
ligious order,  unite  their  counsels  and  their  efforts,  and  make 
a  faithful  experiment,  and  the  word  and  the  providence  of 
God  afford  the  most  consoling  prospect  of  success. 

"  Our  case  is  indeed  an  evil  one,  but  it  is  not  hopeless. 
Unbelief  and  sloth  may  ruin  us;  but  the  God  of  heaven,  if 
we  distrust  not  His  mercy,  and  tempt  Him  not  by  neglect- 
ing our  duty,  will  help  us,  we  doubt  not,  to  retrieve  our  con- 
dition, and  to  transmit  to  our  children  the  precious  inherit- 
ance received  from  our  fathers. 

''The  spirit  of  missions  which  is  pervading  the  state,  and 
the  effusions  of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  revivals  of  religion,  are 
blessed  indications  that  God  has  not  forgotten  to  be  gra- 
cious. 

"  With  these  encouragements  to  exertion,  shall  we  stand 
idle  ?  Shall  we  bear  the  enormous  tax  of  our  vices — more 
than  sufficient  to  support  the  Gk)spel,  the  civil  goveraraer' 

L2 


250  AUTOBIOOBAPHY. 

r 

r 

of  the  Btate,  and  every  school  and  literary  institntion  ?  Bhall 
we  witness  around  ns  the  fall  of  individuals — ^the  misery  of 
families — ^the  war  upon  health  and  intellect,  upon  our  relig- 
ious institutions  and  civil  order,  and  upon  the  souls  of  men, 
without  an  effort  to  prevent  the  evil?  Who  is  himself  se- 
cure of  life  in  the  midst  of  such  contagion  ?  And  what  ev- 
idence have  we  that  the  plague  will  not  break  into  our  own 
families,  and  that  our  own  children  may  not  be  among  the 
victims  who  shall  suffer  the  miseries  of  life  and  the  puns  of 
eternal  death  through  our  sloth  and  unbelief? 

^  Had  a  foreign  army  invaded  our  land  to  plunder  our 
property  and  take  away  our  liberty,  should  we  tamely  bow 
to  the  yoke  and  give  up  without  a  struggle?  If  a  band  of 
assassins  were  scattering  poison,  and  filling  the  land  with 
widows  and  orphans,  would  they  be  suffered,  without  mol- 
estation, to  extend  from  year  to  year  the  work  of  death  ? 
K  our  streets  swarmed  with  venomous  reptiles  and  beasts 
of  prey,  would  our  children  be  bitten  and  torn  to  pieces  be- 
fore our  eyes,  and  no  efforts  made  to  expel  these  deadly  in- 
truders ?  But  intemperance  is  that  invading  enemy  prepar- 
ing chains  for  us ;  intemperance  is  that  band  of  assassins 
scattering  poison  and  death;  intemperance  is  that  assem- 
blage of  reptiles  and  beasts  of  prey,  destroying  in  our  streets 
the  lambs  of  the  fiock  before  our  eyes. 

**To  conclude,  if  we  make  a  united  exertion  and  fail  of 
the  good  intended,  nothing  will  be  lost  by  the  exertion ;  we 
can  but  die,  and  it  will  be  glorious  to  perish  in  such  an  ef- 
fort. Bat  if,  as  we  confidently  expect,  it  shall  please  the 
God  of  our  fathers  to  give  us  the  victory,  we  may  secure  to 
millions  the  blessings  of  the  life  that  now  is,  and  the  cease- 
less blessings  of  the  life  to  come.'' 

This  report  was  thorougl^ly  discussed  and  adopted,  and  a 


THX  TEMPBS^NCS  BEFOBMATION.  261 

thousand  copies  ordered  to  be  printed ;  and  that,  too,  was 
before  people  had  learned  to  do  much.  It  was  done  with 
zeal  and  earnestness,  such  as  I  had  never  seen  in  a  delibera- 
tive  body  before. 

Dr.Dwight  did  indeed  say— oar  fsither  and  our  friend — 
that  while  he  approved  of  oar  zeal,  and  appreciated  the  exi- 
gency that  called  it  forth,  he  was  not  without  some  appre- 
hension that  in  their  great  and  laudable  earnestness  his 
young  fiiends  might  transcend  the  sanction  of  public  senti- 
ment ;  but,  with  a  smile  peculiarly  his  own,  and  heavenly, 
he  added, "If  my  young  friends  think  it  best  to  proceed, 
Ood  forbid  that  I  should  oppose  or  hinder  them,  or  with- 
hold my  suffirage." 

I  was  not  headstrong  then,  but  I  was  hatxrtstrong — oh  very, 
very  I  I  had  read  and  studied  every  thing  on  the  subject  I 
could  lay  hands  on.  We  did  not  say  a  word  then  about 
wine,  because  we  thought  it  was  best,  in  this  sudden  onset, 
to  attack  that  which  was  most  prevalent  and  deadly,  and 
that  it  was  as  much  as  would  be  safe  to  take  hold  of  one 
such  dragon  by  the  horns  without  tackling  another;  but  in 
ourselves  we  resolved  to  inhibit  wine,  and  in  our  families 
we  generally  did. 

All  my  expectations  were  more  than  verified.  The  next 
year  we  reported  to  the  Association  that  the  effect  had  been 
most  salutary.  Ardent  spirits  were  banished  from  ecdesi- 
asUcai  meetings;  ministers  had  preached  on  the  subject; 
the  churches  generally  had  approved  the  design ;  the  use 
of  spirits  in  families  and  private  circles  had  diminished ;  the 
attention  of  the  conununity  had  been  awakened ;  the  tide  of 
public  opinion  had  turned ;  farmers  and  mechanics  had  be- 
gun to  disuse  spirits ;  the  Legislature  had  taken  action  in 
favor  of  the  enterprise ;  a  society  for  Reformation  of  Morals 
had  been  established,  and  ecclesiastical  bodies  in  other  state< 


252  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

had  ccmmenced  efforts  against  the  common  enemy.  ^^The 
experience  of  one  year  had  furnished  lucid  evidence  that 
nothing  was  impossihle  to  faith." 

From  that  time  the  movement  went  on,  by  correspond- 
ence, lectures,  preaching,  organization,  and  other  means,  not 
only  in  Connecticut,  but  marching  through  New  England, 
and  marching  through  the  world.  Glory  to  God !  Oh,  how 
it  wakes  my  old  heart  up  to  think  of  it !  though  hearts  nev- 
er do  grow  old,  do  they  ?* 

*  The  Massachusetts  Temperance  Society,  the  oldest  meriting  the  name, 
was  formed  in  1813,  as  the  result  of  these  measures  of  the  Connecticut  and 
Ifassachusetts  Associations.  Dr.  RushV**  Inquiiy  into  the  Effects  of  AN 
dent  Spirits  upon  the  Human  Mind  and  Body,*'  published  in  1804,  was 
the  precursor  of  all  subsequent  discussions.  In  February,  1813,  Bey.  He- 
man  Humphrey,  of  Fairfield,  Connecticut,  commenced  publishing  a  aeries 
of  articles  on  the  subject.  Bev.  Justin  Edwards,  of  Andover,  Massachu- 
setts, commenced  preaching  on  Temperance  in  1814.  In  1819,  Judge 
Herttell,  of  New  York,  published  an  able  "E^pos^  of  the  Causes  of  In- 
temperate Drinking."  The  report  before  the  General  Association  of  Con- 
necticut, therefore,  stands  among  the  earliest  docnments  of  the  great  Tem- 
perance Beformation. 


AGITATION.  253 


CHAPTER  XXXVin. 

AGITATION. 

In  the  present  chapter  three  letters  are  given  illustrative 
of  the  corre^pondence  on  reformatory  subjects  extensive- 
ly carried  on  by  Mr.  Beecher  at  this  time  with  ministerial 
brethren  and  others  in  different  parts  of  the  state. 

Mr.  Beecher  to  the  Sev,  Asahel  Hooker. 

<<  Litchfield,  July  28, 1812. 

^'  Without  preface,  I  beg  leave  to  suggest  to  your  consid- 
eration a  subject  which  is  beginning  to  be  talked  upon  in 
these  parts.  It  is  that  an  attempt  be  made  at  the  ensuing 
Commencement  at  New  Haven  to  establish  a  reformation 
society  for  the  state.  The  following  considerations  have 
been  suggested  in  favor  of  such  an  attempt : 

''  1.  The  state  of  public  morals,  especially  with  respect  to 
the  violation  of  the  Sabbath  and  the  prevalence  of  intemper- 
ance, is  such  as  to  demand  some  special  general  effort. 

'*  2.  The  providence  of  God.  His  judgments  call  upon  us 
to  engage  in  the  work  of  reformation. 

*'  3.  A  general  society  would  seem  to  be  in  many  ways 
adapted  to  do  good ;  as, 

*'  (1.)  It  wiU  tend  to  awaken  the  attention  of  the  commu- 
nity to  our  real  state  and  danger. 

**  (2.)  Be  a  rallying-point  for  all  good  men. 

^'  (3.)  A  general  repository  of  facts  as  to  what  needs  to 
be  done  and  the  means  of  doing. 

''  (4.)  It  may  be  the  parent  and  patron  of  local  auxiliary 


254  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

Bodeties,  make  it  easier  to  establish  them,  and  give  them 
weight  and  respectability. 

^  (5.)  May  it  not  be  a  part  of  that  great  and  new  system 
of  things  by  which  God  is  preparing  to  bless  the  world  and 
fill  it  with  His  glory  ?  Who  can  tell  how  great  a  matter  a 
little  fire  may  kindle  ? 

'^  Bat  I  need  not  enlarge.  Your  own  meditation  can  bring 
before  yon  all  the  probable  effects,  good  or  bad,  and  this  is 
to  request,  if  you  approve  of  the  design,  that  yon  will  con- 
fer with  sach  of  your  brethren  as  have  not  too  much  pru- 
dence ever  to  do  any  thing,  and  nse  your  best  exertions  to 
prepare  the  way  in  yonr  part  of  the  state  for  such  an  effort 
*  *  *  I  expect  to  be  at  Hartford  soon  on  my  way  to 
Gnilford,  and  shall  retmn  by  New  Haven.  Shall  confer  with 
Crovemor  Treadwell,  Mr.  Yates,  Mr.  Chapin,  Dr.  D  wight,  and 
such  others  of  the  brethren  as  I  may  see.  Who  is  the  best 
man  to  propose  the  thing  to  Dr.  Strong,  of  Hartford  ?  I  am 
not  in  his  books,  as  we  Litchfield  boys  patronise  the  ^  Pano- 
plist,'  etc. 

cc  *  *  *  ^ji  thege  suggestions  are  submitted  to  your 
fatherly  wisdom  without  the  smallest  apprehension  that  you 
will  deem  it  necessary  to  suspect  that  we  here  in  Litchfield 
County  are  about  to  set  ourselves  up  above  New  London 
County.  Oh,  when  shall  the  time  come  when  every  good 
man  may  exert  himself  fot  Jesus  Christ  with  all  his  heart 
without  exciting  in  the  mind  of  father  or  brother  jealousy 
or  envy?  Be  pleased  to  write  immediately  what  we  may 
depend  on  from  you«  as  you  are  one  of  us,  and  we  can  not 
act  well  without  you.  The  subject  is  not  publicly  broached 
here  yet — ^we  Kte  feeling;  but  you  may  depend  on  the  min- 
isters and  churches  in  this  county,  I  think,  and,  as  far  as  in- 
dividuals are  consulted,  the  thing  is  iq>proved.  Judge  Reeve 
gives  the  plan  his  cordial  vote. 


AGITATION.  255 

*'  We  are  all  well.  The  revival  in  South  Canaan  is  happi- 
ly progressing,  and  in  Kent  also,  and  North  Cornwall,  and 
and.  in  Soath  Britain ;  in  the  last  place  twenty-seven  have 
recently  obtained  hope.  Appearances  are  favorable  in  Sha- 
ron, Salisbury,  Washington,  New  Milford,  and  more  or  less 
so  in  many  places  besides.  We  have  more  solemnity  on  the 
Sabbath  in  Litchfield,  fuller  church  prayer-meetings,  and  five 
or  six  cases  of  spedal  seriousness."    *    *    * 

The  Same. 

"Litchfield,  Oct.  26, 1812. 

*' Your  last  was  duly  received,  and  was  very  acceptable, 
even  what  you  are  pleased  to  style  the  preaching ;  and  I 
know  not  why  we  may  not  enjoy  the  benefit  sometimes  of 
being  preached  to,  as  well  as  to  be  employed  imceasingly  in 
preaching  to  other  people ;  and  as  I  seem  determined  to 
keep  up  a  correspondence  with  you,  you  will  please  to 
preach  to  me  should  my  commimications  become  so  frequent 
that  you  have  nothing  else  to  say. 

^'  A  meeting  of  conference  was  held  at  New  Haven  on 
Wednesday,  and  the  result  was  encouraging.  Our  doings 
were  as  follows : 

*'  ^  At  a  meeting  of  a  number  of  gentlemen  at  New  Haven 
from  different  parts  of  the  state  to  confer  as  to  the  propri- 
ety of  attempting  a  society  for  the  Suppression  of  Vice  and 
the  Promotion  of  good  Morals,  the  Rev.  Dr.  D  wight  was  re- 
quested to  take  the  chair,  and  the  Rev.  Mr.  Merwin  to  offici- 
ate as  scribe. 

^'  ^  On  motion,  voted  unanimously,  that  the  members  of  this 
meeting  do  approve  of  the  above  design  both  as  practicable 
and  highly  important. 

** '  Voted,  secondly,  that  a  committee  of  twenty-six  per- 
sons be  appointed  as  a  committee  of  inquiry  and  correspond- 


256  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

ence  in  reference  to  the  formation  of  a  general  society  for  the 
Suppression  of  Vice  and  the  Promotion  of  good  Morals  in 
this  state ;  and  if  they  shall  deem  the  establishment  of  sach 
a  society  practicable  and  expedient,  that  they  prepare  a  Con- 
stitution and  an  Address  to  the  Public,  and  appoint  the  time 
and  place  of  meeting  to  organize  the  society,  and  make  all 
other  necessary  arrangements.'* 

"  Now,  my  dear  sir,  though  all  this  committee  will  hardly 
meet,  enough,  I  trust,  will  to  do  the  work,  and  I  do  feel  as 
if,  under  God,  the  thing  is  in  a  safe  and  certain  way  of  ac- 
complishment. It  is  important  that  the  clergy  be  apprised 
of  the  thing,  and  steadily  exert  their  influence  to  prepare 
the  way.  Please  to  write  by  Mrs.  Reeve,  to  whom  I  refer 
you  for  all  particulars  not  contained  in  this  short  letter." 

*  «  t  Voted  that  the  following  gentlemen  be  members  of  the  abo/e  com- 
mittee: 

"  *  County  of  Fairfield, — ^The  Rev.  Heman  Humphrey,  Roger  ]^  Sher- 
man, Asa  Chapman. 

"  *  Countt/  of  Litchfield.^The  Hon.  Tapping  Reeve,  Samuel  W.  South- 
mayd,  the  Rev.  L.  Beecher. 

"  *  Chuniy  of  New  Haven.—The  Rev.  Timothy  Dwight,  D.D.,  the  Rev. 
Henry  Whitlock,  Charles  Dennison,  Esq.,  Dyer  White,  Esq. 

<*  'Hartford  Onm/y.— The  Hon.  John  Trcadwell,  the  Rev.  Calvin  Cha- 
piU)  the  Hon.  Theodore  Dwight,  Joseph  Rogers. 

«  <  Tolland  County, —The  Rev.  Amos  Basset,  Sylvester  Gilbert,  John  E. 
HaU. 

'*  *  Windham  County.  — Moses  C.  Welch,  Hon:  Zephaniah  Swift,  Jabez 
Clark,  Esq.  * 

"  *  New  London  County, — The  Rev.  Asahel  Hooker,  General  Jedediah 
Hnittington,Hon.  Calvin  Goddard. 

"  ^Middlesex  County, — The  Rev.  Df.  Perley,  Deacon  Jonathan  Hun- 
tington, Thomas  Hubbard. 

**  *The  Hon.  Tapping  Reeve  appointed  chairman  of  the  committee  to 
give  notice  of  the  time  and  place  of  meeting.*  ** 


AGITATION.  257 

The  Same. 

"  Litchfield,  Not.  24, 1812. 

^I  am  persuaded  the  time  has  come  when  it  becomes  ev- 
ery friend  of  this  state  to  wake  up  and  exert  his  whole  influ- 
ence to  save  it  from  innovation  and  democracy  healed  of  its 
deadly  wound.  That  the  effort  to  supplant  Governor  Smith 
will  be  made  is  certain,  unless  at  an  early  stage  the  noise  of 
rising  opposition  shall  be  so  great  as  to  deter  them ;  and  if 
,  it  is  made,  a  separation  is  made  in  the  Federal  party,  and  a 
coalition  with  democracy,  which  will,  in  my  opinion,  be  per- 
manent, unless  their  overthrow  by  the  election  should  throw 
'  them  into  despair  or  inspire  repentance.   * 

*'  If  we  stand  idle  we  lose  our  habits  and  institutions  piec(h- 
meal,  as  fast  as  innovation  and  ambition  shall  dare  to  urge 
on  the  work.  If  we  meet  with  strenuous  opposition  in  this 
thing  we  can  but  perish,  and  we  may — I  trust  if  we  look  up 
to  God  we  shall — save  the  state.  I  only  desire  that  we  may 
act  in  His  fear,  and  not  be  moved  in  so  trying  a  case  by  the 
wrath  of  man,  which  worketh  not  the  righteousness  of  God. 

"  My  request  to  you  is  that  without  delay  you  will  write 
to  Mr.  Theodore  Dwight,  expressing  to  him  your  views  on 
the  subject  in  the  manner  your  own  discretion  shall  dictate, 
and  that  you  will  in  your  region  touch  every  spring,  lai/  or 
clerical,  which  you  can  touch  prudently,  that  these  men  do 
not  steal  a  march  upon  us,  and  that  the  rising  opposition 
may  meet  them  early,  before  they  have  gathered  strength. 
Every  stroke  struck  now  will  have  double  the  effect  it  will 
after  the  parties  are  formed  and  the  lines  are  drawn.  I 
hope  we  shall  not  act  imprudently,  but  I  hope  we  shall  all 
act  who  fear  God  or  regard  man.  Why  should  this  little 
state  be  sacrificed  ?  Why  should  she,  at  such  a  day  as  this, 
standing  alone  amid  surrounding  ruins^  be  torn  herself  ^ 


258  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

internal  discord  ?  What  a  wanton  effort  of  ambition !  Lord, 
what  is  man  ?  How  miceasingly  have  these  men  conjured 
us  to  holdfast  our  usages,  and  now  they  are  about  to  invite 
the  aid  of  democracy  to  pull  them  down.  If  this  thing  suc- 
ceeds, it  is  because  God  has  given  us  up  to  madness  that  He 
may  destroy  us.  Let  us  pray  for  His  protection,  and  use 
the  means,  and  I  can  not  but  hope  that  He  will  still  be  our 
wall  of  fire  and  our  sure  defense. 

^*  Judge  Reeve  is  engaged  in  the  business  of  organizing 
the  general  society,  and  he  told  me  that  it  met  the  appro* 
bation  of  the  judges  at  the  Supreme  Court ;  that  Judge  Swift 
was  pleased  with  his  appointment  on  the  committee,  and 
would  attend.  He  proposes  to  convene  the  committee  at 
Middletown  as  most  central,  and  at  some  time  which  will 
accommodate  the  greatest  number.  You  must  not  fail  to 
come. 

^^  Our  missionary  tour  is  through.  I  trust  good  has  been 
done.  Why  can  not  some  such  effort  be  made  in  your  part 
of  the  state  ?  Have  you  not  missionary  ground  enough,  and 
zeal  enough,  and  encouragement  enough  on  the  part  of  GUkL 
to  make  some  such  exertions  for  the  revival  of  religion? 
Such  itinerations  preceded  the  great  revivals  in  New  Jersey. 
They  have  been  blessed  evidently  in  our  churches.  It  seems 
to  me  that  settled  pastors  with  a  systematic  itineration 
would  be  able  to  embrace  all  the  benefits  of  stability  with 
all  the  benefits  of  missionary  zeal  and  enterprise." 


OBjQAisazrsQ.  259 


CHAPTER  XXXTX. 

ORGANIZING. 

I  BEMSMfiSB  that  whUe  at  New  Haven  we  had  a  meeting 
to  consult  about  organizing  a  society  for  the  promotion  of 
reform.  We  met  in  Judge  Baldwin's  office ;  and  a  num1>er 
of  the  leading  lawyers  were  invited  to  meet  us,  some  seven 
or  eight  perhaps.  We  took  up  the  subject,  and  discussed 
it  thoroughly,  Dr.  Dwight  being  the  chairman  of  the  meet- 
ing, and  such  men  as  David  Daggett,  Judge  Baldwin,  Roger 
Minot  Sherman  participating. 

That  was  a  new  thing  in  that  day  for  the  clergy  and  lay- 
men to  meet  on  the  same  level  and  co-operate.  It  was  the 
first  time  there  had  ever  been  such  a  consultation  between 
them  in  Connecticut  in  our  day.  The  ministers  had  always 
managed  things  themselves,  for  in  those  days  the  ministers 
were  all  politicians.  They  had  always  been  used  to  it  from 
the  beginning. 

On  election  day  they  had  a  festival.  AH  the  clergy  used 
to  go,  walk  in  procession,  smoke  pipes,  and  drink.  And, 
fact  is,  when  they  got  together,  they  would  talk  over  who 
should  be  governor,  and  who  lieutenant  governor,  and  who 
in  the  Upper  House,  and  their  counsels  would  prevail. 

Now  it  was  part  of  the  old  *^  steady  habits"  of  the  state, 
which  ought  never  to  have  been  touched,  that  the  lieutenant 
governor  should  succeed  to  the  governorship.  And  it  was 
the  breaking  up  this  custom  by  the  civilians,  against  the  in- 
fluence of  the  clergy,  that  first  shook  the  stability  of  the 
standing  order  and  the  Federal  party  in  the  state.    Tread- 


260  AUTOmOGBAPHT. 

well  was  a  Btiff'maD,  aad  the  time  had  come  when  many  men 
did  not  like  that  sort  of  thing.  He  had  been  active  in  the 
enforcement  of  the  Sabbath  laws,  and  had  brought  on  him- 
self the  odiam  of  the  opposing  party. 

Hence  some  of  the  civilians  of  oar  own  party,  David  Dag- 
gett and  others,  wire-worked  to  have  him  superseded,  and 
Roger  Griswold,  the  ablest  man  in'  Congress,  put  in  his 
stead.  That  was  rank  rebellion  against  the  ministerial  can- 
didate. But  Daggett  controlled  the  whole  Fairfield  County 
bar,  and  Griswold  was  a  £sivorite  of  the  lawyers,  and  the 
Democrats  helped  them  because  they  saw  how  it  would 
work ;  so  there  was  no  election  by  the  people,  and  Tread- 
well  was  acting  Governor  till  1811,  when  Griswold  was 
chosen.  The  lawyers,  in  talking  about  it,  said,  '^  We  have 
served  the  clergy  long  enough ;  we  must  take  another  man, 
and  let  them  take  care  of  themselves." 

I  foresaw  the  result  as  it  afterward  came  to  pass.  I  wrote 
to  Theodore  Dwight,  President  Dwight's  brother^  a  lawyer 
of  Hartford,  and  told  him  what  the  effect  would.be;  that 
there  was  a  regular  course,  and  the  people  were  attached  to 
it;  and  that  if  you  throw  over  the  men  they  revere,  and 
whose  turn  it  is,  they  will  be  disgusted ;  there  will  be  a  re- 
action, and  by-and-by  you  yourselves  will  be  set  aside.  It  is 
laughable,  the  fulfillment  a  few  years  after  just  as  I  predict- 
ed. The  Democrats  came  and  took  them  house  and  lot,  slung 
them  out  as  from  a  sling.  They  turned  out  not  only  the 
deacon  justices,  but  the  lawyer  justices  too,  and  they  never 
got  in  agdn ;  whereas  the  ministers  and  churches,  by  the 
voluntary  system,  recovered,  and  stood  better  than  before. 

It  was  the  anticipation  of  the  impending  revolution  and 
downfall  of  the  standing  order  that  impelled  me  to  the  ef- 
forts I  made  at  that  time  to  avert  it,  and  to  prepare  for  it 
in  all  possible  ways.    And  one  was  this  association  of  the 


ORGANIZING.  201 

leading  minds  of  the  laity  with  us  in  counsel,  and  discussing 
matters  with  them.  They  easily  fell  in  with  our  views,  saw 
the  thing  as  we  did,  and  threw  in  their  influence  heartily. 
I  remember  Roger  JVfinot  Sherman  especially  was  highly 
pleased.  "  You  have  never  before,"  he  said,  "  done  any 
thing  so  wisely  and  so  well  as  this." 

In  fact,  we  ourselves  were  greatly  elated  to  think  what  a 
point  we  had  carried.  It  was  while  at  New  Haven  that  I 
preached  my  sermon  on  '^  A  Reformation  of  Morals  prac- 
ticable and  desirable."  I  had  blocked  it  out  before  in  East 
•Hampton,  at  the  time  I  was  so  moved  by  the  treatment  of 
the  Indians.  I  had  laid  it  aside,  but  I  knew  where  it  was ; 
and,  after  that  meeting  of  the  Association  at  Sharon,!  fell  to 
work  upon  it,  and  rewrote  it  with  care,  and  preached  it  at 
New  Haven. 

Extract  from  Sermon. 

'^  Our  vices  are  digging  the  grave  of  our  liberties,  and 
preparing  to  entomb  our  glory.  We  may  sleep,  but  the 
work  goes  on.  We  may  despise  admonition,  but  our  de- 
struction slumbereth  not.  Traveling,  and  worldly  labor,  and 
amusement  on  the  Sabbath  will  neither  produce  nor  pre- 
serve such  a  state  of  society  as  the  conscientious  observance 
of  the  Sabbath  has  helped  to  produce  and  preserve.  The 
enormous  consumption  of  ardent  spirit  in  our  land  will  pro- 
duce neither  bodies  nor  minds  like  those  which  were  the 
oflspring  of  temperance  and  virtue.  The  neglect  of  family 
government  and  family  prayer,  and  the  religious  education 
of  children,  will  not  produce  such  freemen  as  were  formed 
by  early  habits  of  subordination  and  the  constant  influence 
of  the  fear  of  God.  *  ♦  *  Our  institutions,  civil  and  re- 
ligious, have  outlived  that  domestic  discipline  and  official 
vigilance  in  magistrates  which  rendered  obedience  easy  and 


262  AUTOBIOGSAPHT. 

habitual.  The  laws  are  now  beginning  to  operate  extens- 
ively upon  necks  unaccastomed  to  the  yoke,  and  when  they 
shall  become  irksome  to  the  majority,  their  execution  will 
become  impracticable.  To  this  situation  we  are  already  re- 
duced in  some  districts  of  the  land.  Drunkards  reel  through 
the  streets  day  after  day,  and  year  after  year,  with  entire 
impunity.  Profane  swearing  is  heard,  and  even  by  magis^ 
trates,  as  though  they  heard  it  not.  Efforts  to  stop  travel- 
ing on  the  Sabbath  have  in  all  places  become  feeble,  and  in 
many  places  have  wholly  ceased.  *  *  *  In  the  mean 
time,  many  who  lament  these  evils  are  augmenting  them  by 
predicting  that  all  is  lost,  encouraging  the  enemy  and  weak- 
ening the  hands  of  the  wise  and  good.  But  truly  we  do 
stand  on  the  confines  of  destruction.  The  mass  is  changing. 
We  are  becoming  another  people.  Our  habits  have  held  us 
long  after  those  moral  causes  that  formed  them  have  ceased 
to  operate.  These  habits,  at  length,  are  giving  way.  So 
many  hands  have  so  long  been  employed  to  pull  away  found- 
ations, and  so  few  to  repair  breaches,  that  the  building  tot- 
ters. So  much  enterprise  has  been  displayed  in  removing 
obstructions  fi*om  the  current  of  human  depravity,  and  so 
little  to  restore  them,  that  the  stream  at  length  is  beginning 
to  run.  It  may  be  stopped  now,  but  it  will  soon  become 
deep,  and  broad,  and  rapid,  and  irresistible.    *    *    * 

**'  If  we  do  neglect  our  duty,  and  suffer  our  laws  and  in- 
stitutions to  go  down,  we  give  them  up  forever.  It  is  easy 
to  relax,  easy  to  retreat,  but  impossible,  when  the  abomina- 
tion of  desolation  has  once  passed  over,  to  rear  again  the 
prostrate  altars,  and  gather  again  the  fragments,  and  build 
up  the  ruins  of  demolished  institutions.  *  *  *  We  shall 
become  slaves,  and  slaves  to  the  worst  of  masters.  The 
profane  and  the  profligate,  men  of  corrupt  minds  and  to  ev- 
ery good  work  reprobate,  will  be  exalted,  to  pollute  us  by 


OBQ^JXJZnSQ.  263 

their  example,  to  distract  ns  by  their  folly,  and  impoverish 
us  by  fraud  and  rapine.  Let  loose  from  wholesome  re- 
strainti  and  taught  siu  by  the  example  of  the  great,  a  scene 
most  horrid  to  be  conceived,  but  more  dreadful  to  be  expe- 
rienced, will  ensue.  No  people  are  more  fitted  for  destruc- 
tion, if  they  go  to  destruction,  than  we  ourselves.  All  the 
daring  enterprise  of  our  countrymen,  emancipated  from  mor* 
al  restraint,  will  become  the  desperate  daring  of  unrestrain- 
ed sin.  Should  we  break  the  bands  of  Christ,  and  cast  his 
cords  from  us,  and  begin  the  work  of  self-destruction,  it  will 
be  urged  on  with  a  malignant  enterprise  which  has  no  par* 
allel  in  the  annals  of  time,  and  be  attended  with  miseries 
such  as  the  sun  has  never  looked  upon.  The  hand  that 
overturns  our  laws  and  altars  is  the  hand  of  death  unbar- 
ring the  gates  of  Pandemonium,  and  letting  loose  upon  our 
land  the  crimes  and  miseries  of  hell.  Even  if  the  Most  High 
should  stand  aloof  and  cast  not  a  single  ingredient  into  our 
cup  of  trembling,  it  would  seem  to  be  full  of  superlative 
woe.  But  he  will  not  stand  aloof.  As  we  shall  have  begun 
an  open  controversy  with  Him,  he  will  contend  openly  with 
us;  and  never,  since  the  earth  stood,  has  it  been  so  fearful  a 
thing  for  nations  to  &11  into  the  hands  of  the  living  God. 
The  day  of  vengeance  is  in  his  heart;  the  day  of  judgment 
has  come ;  the  great  earthquake  that  is  to  sink  Babylon  is 
shaking  the  nations,  and  the  waves  of  the  mighty  commo- 
tion are  dashing  on  every  shore. 

*^I8  this,  then,  a  time  to  remove  foundations,  when  the 
earth  itself  is  shaken  ?  Is  this  a  time  to  forfeit  the  protec- 
tion of  Gk>d,  when  the  hearts  of  men  are  failing  them  for 
fear,  and  for  looking  after  those  things  which  are  coming  on 
the  earth?  Is  this  a  time  to  run  upon  his  neck  and  the 
thick  bosses  of  his  buckler,  when  the  nations  are  drinking 
blood,  and  fainting,  and  passing  away  in  his  wrath  ?    Is  this 


264  AUTOBIOOBAPHT. 

a  time  to  throw  away  the  shield  of  faith,  when  his  arrows 
are  drunk  with  the  blood  of  the  slain ;  to  cut  from,  the  an- 
chor of  hope,  when  the  clouds  are  collecting,  and  the  siea 
and  the  waves  are  roaring,  and  thunders  are  uttering  their 
voices,  and  lightnings  blazing  in  the  heavens,  and  great  hail 
is  falling  upon  men,  and  every  mountain,  sea,  and  island  is 
fleeing  in  dismay  from  the  face  of  an  incensed  God  ?"* 

*  "  He  was  not  long  in  finding  out  that  the  Connecticnt  of  those  times 
needed  a  reformation  of  morals  that  should  restore  its  primitive  gloiy ; 
and  a  sermon  of  his  on  that  subject,  preached  in  New  Haren  when  the 
Legislature  of  the  state  was  holding  its  autumnal  session — ^the  most  elo- 
quent, perhaps,  of  all  hb  printed  works — might  be  referred  to  as  a  con- 
spicuous forerunner  of  the  great  Temperance  reformation." — Dr.  Bagoit. 

NoTs. — ^The  following  chapter  is  derived  chiefly  from  Dr.  Beecher's 
MSS. 


TIU:  LAST  WAB.  265 


CHAPTER  XL. 

THB    LAST    WAB. 

OuB  dangers  in  the  war  of  1812  were  very  great — so  great 
that  human  skill  and  power  were  felt  to  be  in  vain.  If  it 
had  not  been  the  Lord  who  was  on  our  side,  the  waters  had 
overwhelmed  ns,  the  stream  had  gone  over  our  soul.  The 
first  danger  was  lawless  violence.  People  had  long  been 
divided  on  questions  of  national  policy.  When  war  was  de- 
clared, a  state  of  feeling  existed  most  alarming.  Combus- 
tibles were  prepared,  and  the  trtdn  laid,  and  a  spark  only 
seemed  needed  to  wrap  the  land  in  a  blaze.  That  spark  fell 
on  the  train  at  Baltimore^  but  the  hand  of  God  stopped  the 
fire.  We  had  always  been  so  accustomed  to  restraint  that 
we  had  imagined  human  nature  in  our  nation  incapable  of 
the  violence  manifested  in  other  nations.  But  who  made  us 
to  difier  ?  What  had  we  that  we  had  not  received  ?  Had 
popular  feeling  once  burst  through  restraint,  no  tongue  can 
utter  the  woes  we  should  have  suffered. 

Another  danger  was  the  loss  of  the  liberty  of  speech  and 
of  the  press.  |n  the  Revolutionary  war  the  people  were  so 
nearly  unanimous  that  the  minority  had  not  much  protec- 
tion from  law.  This  was  while  the  nation,  scarcely  organ- 
ized, was  struggling  for  existence. 

But  now  a  powerful  minority  in  Congress  were  opposed 
to  the  war,  and  nearly  half  the  people  of  the  nation.  Yet  a 
disposition  was  manifested  to  cut  short  aH  opposition  by 
summary  process.  Li  many  cases  the  thing  was  done/  in 
every  part  of  the  land  it  was  threatened ;  and  if  it  had  been 

M 


266  AUTOmOGBAFHY. 

aooomplished  we  should  have  been  slaves.  The  danger  at 
one  moment  was  pre-eminent.  A  little  more  excitement — 
a  little  less  resistance — and  passion  had  usurped  the  place 
of  law,  and  stopped  investigation ;  but  in  the  critical  mo- 
ment God  interposed  and  repelled  the  danger. 

Another  peril  was  that  of  a  military  despotism. « A  stand- 
ing army  is  dangerous  to  liberty.  The  militia  was  our  only 
safeguard  against  military  despotism;  it  was  the  people, 
spread  over  the  land,  armed  and  organized  for  defense.  The 
militia  can  not  usurp,  nor  be  surprised  and  subdued,  and  in 
no  way  could  the  liberties  of  the  nation  be  betrayed  but  by 
the  general  government  taking  the  militia  from  the  control 
of  the  states  as  material  of  a  standing  army.  This  was  at- 
tempted ;  but  the  danger  was  foreseen  and  averted.  Gov- 
ernor Griswold,  of  immortal  mempry,  was  rabed  up  at  that 
critical  moment  to  prevent  the  evil.  Other  states  followed 
the  example,  and  the  point  was  settled  that  the  militia  was 
a  state  force  for  state  defense,  to  be.  called  on  for  national 
defense  only  in  great  national  emergencies. 

The  war  also  threatened  to  prostrate  our  civil  and  relig- 
ious institutions  by  increasing  taxation  and  loss  of  income. 
While  our  commerce  was  imshackled,  and  the  whole  world 
at  war  paid  the  highest  prices  for  our  produce,  we  could 
have  borne  taxation ;  but  our  expenses  commenced  at  the 
moment  when  our  income  from  commerce  had  ceased,  and 
no  resource  remained  but  to  increase  taxation  as  revenue 
declined.  This,  with  loss  of  public  credit,  became  an  intol- 
erable burden,  and  all  institutions,  civil,  literary,  and  eccle- 
siastical, felt  the  pressure,  and  seemed  as  if  they  must  be 
crushed.  Our  schools,  colleges,  churches,  and  governments 
even,  in  the  universal  impoverishment,  were  failing,  and  the 
very  foundations  were  shaking,  when  God  interposed  and 
took  off  the  pressure. 


THE  LAST  WAS.  267 

At  the  same  time  we  were  in  jeopardy  of  national  dismem- 
berment. Party  feeling  inflamed  by  war,  and  made  violent 
by  calamity,  had  prepared  the  masses  for  desperate  meas- 
ures. A  state  of  feeling  was  awake,  and  a  course  of  things 
was  rolling  on,  which  threatened  to  burst  the  ties  that  made  . 
us  a  nation.  The  thought  of  such  an  event  was  dreadful. 
Thousands  who,  in  a  moment  of  feverish  vexation,  had  hsdl- 
ed  its  approach,  when  they  saw  it  coming  in  earnest  turned 
pale  and  trembled  at  their  temerity.  I  hoped  and  expected 
God's  mercy  would  prevail ;  but  now  I  could  not  anticipate. 
Thick  clouds  begirt  the  horizon ;  the  storm  roared  louder 
and  louder ;  it  was  dark  as  midnight ;  every  pilot  trembled, 
and  from  most  all  hope  that  we  should  be  saved  was  taken 
away.  And  when  from  impenet^ble  darkness  the  sun  burst 
suddenly  upon  us,  and  peace  came,  we  said,  '^  Our  soul  is 
escaped  as  a  bird  out  of  the  snare  of  the  fowler.  The  snare 
is  broken,  and  we  are  escaped." 


268.  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 


CHAPTER  XLL 

BUILDING  WASTE  PLACES. 

It  is  imppssible  to  make  yoa  or  any  one  else  understand 
the  amount  of  labor  we  went  through  in  those  days  in  trying 
to  preserve  our  institutions  and  reform  the  public  morals. 

Oh  what  scenes  of  historical  interest  lie  unknown  there ! 
All  the  men  that  were  witl\^me  then  are  gone,  nearly,  except 
Taylor  and  Goodrich.  I  look  back  with  astonishment  at 
the  amount  I  did  without  feeling  fatigue.  And  you  can't 
think  too  much  of  that  time  when  we  began  to  bring  back 
the  keeping  of  the  Sabbath.  We  tried  to  do  it  by  resusci- 
tating and  enforcing  the  law.  That  was  our  mistake,  but 
we  did  not  know  it  then.  I  remember  I  thought  it  over, 
and  talked  it  over,  and  wrote  and  preached  it  over;  and 
wherever  I  went,  I  pushed  that  thing,  ^^  Brace  up  the  laws 
— execute  the  laws." 

H.  B.  S.  "  Well,  father,  why,  is  not  that  just  what  we  are 
doing  now  about  the  Maine  Law  ?" 

Because  now,  for  twenty  or  thirty  years,  the  public  mind 
has  been  educated  to  see  that  it  is  impossible  to  regulate 
the  traffic,  and  that  it  must  be  suppressed.  However,  we 
made  powerful  and  successful  efforts.  For  a  year  or  two 
we  girded  up,  and  addressed  the  officers,  and  carried  it 
through  the  state.  We  really  broke  up  riding  and  working 
on  the  Sabbath,  and  got  the  victory.  The  thing  was  done; 
and  if  it  had  not  been  for  the  political  revolution  that  fol- 
lowed, it  would  have  stood  to  Uiis  day.  We  took  hold  of 
it  in  the  Association  at  Fairfield,  June,  1814,  and  I  brought 


BUILDING   WASTE  PLACES.  260 

in  a  report,  which  was  adopted,  recommending,  among  other 
things,  a  petition  to  Congress.  That  was  the  origin  of  the 
famous  petitions  against  Sunday  mails. 

About  this  time  I  wrote  my  sermon  on  the  *'  Building  of 
Waste  Places."  The  churches  di4  not  understand  all  I 
meant  by  that  sermon.  I  foresaw  what  was  coming.  I  saw 
the  enemy  digging  at  the  foundation  of  the  standing  order. 
I  went  to  work,  with  deliberate  calculation,  to  defend  it,  and 
prepare  the  churches,  if  it  fell,  to  take  care  of  themselyes. 

JExtrdcts  from  Sermon. 

''  The  fathers  of  Connecticut  came  here  on  purpose  to  es- 
tablish and  perpetuate  that  religious  order  which  is  still  the 
prevailing  order  in  the  state.  *  *  Believing  godliness  to 
be  profitable  to  the  life  that  now  is,  and  ignorance  and  irre- 
ligion  to  be  crimes  against  the  state,  they  required  bj  law 
every  society  to  support  the  Gospel,  and  every  family  to 
contribute  its  proportion,  and  to  attend  statedly  upon  its 
ministrations.  *  *  Thus  organized,  for  more  than  a  cen< 
tury  Zion  was  a  city  compactly  builded ;  and  friends  and 
foes  might,  with  different  emotions,  *  go  round  about  her, 
and  tell  her  towers,  and  mark  her  bulwarks,  and  consider 
her  palaces.'    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

**For  more  than  one  hundred  years  the  pastors  and 
churches  of  Connecticut  were  strictly  evangelical ;  but  at 
length  different  views  concerning  doctrine  began  to  prevail. 
This  was  occasioned  by  an  alarming  suspension,  for  many 
years,  of  the  special  influence  of  the  Spirit,  and  by  the  ex- 
pedients of  human  wisdom  to  replenish  the  churches  with- 
out the  agency  of  God.  One  effect  of  this  decline  was  the 
introduction  into  the  ministry  of  men  who  probably  had 
never  experienced  the  power  of  divine  grace  on  their  hearts, 
and  who,  of  course,  would  be  prepared  by  native  feeling  to 


270  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

oppose  the  doctrines  of  the  Gospel.  From  snch  nothing 
better  could  be  expected  than  a  cold,  formal,  unfaithful,  un- 
productive ministry,  and  a  gradual  approximation  to  anoth- 
er Gospel.  Those  precious  truths  which  are  the  power  of 
God  unto  salvation  were  first  omitted,  and  at  length  openly 
opposed.  The  consequence  '^as  that  *•  the  love  of  many 
waxed  cold,  and  the  ways  of  Zion  mourned  because  few 
came  to  her  solemn  feasts.' 

*'  Alarmed  at  the  declining  numbers  of  the  Church,  and 
the  corresponding  increase  of  the  unbaptized,  our  fathers, 
with  pious  intent,  doubtless,  but  with  a  most  unwarrantable 
distrust  of  God  and  dependence  on  human  wisdom,  intro- 
duced what  has  since  been  denominated  the  haXf-way  cave- 
nant, 

^'According  to  the  provisions  of  this  anomaly  in  religion, 
persqns  of  a  regular  deportment,  though  destitute  of  piety, 
might  be  considered  as  Church  members,  and  offer  their 
children  in  baptism,  without  coming  to  the  sacramental  sup- 
per, for  which  piety  was  still  deemed  indispensable.  The 
effect  was,  that  owning  the  covenant^  as  it  was  called,  be- 
came a  common,  thoughtless  ceremony,  and  baptism  was 
extended  to  all  who  had  sufficient  regard  to  fashion  or  to 
self-righteous  doings  to  ask  it  for  themselves  or  their  chil- 
dren. As  to  the  promises  of  educating  their  children  in  the 
fear  of  the  Lord,  and  submitting  to  the  discipline  of  the 
Church  on  the  one  hand,  or  of  watchful  care  on  the  other, 
they  were  alike  disregarded  both  by  those  who  exacted  and 
by  those  who  made  them. 

^'  Others,  alarmed  by  the  same  declension  of  numbers  in 
the  visible  Church,  and  leaning  equally  to  their  own  under- 
standings to  provide  a  remedy,  discovered,  as  they  imagined, 
that  grace  is  not  necessary  to  the  participation  of  either  or- 
dinance ;  that  there  is  but  one  covenant,  the  condition  of 


BUILDING   WASTE  PLACES.  2ll 

which  might  be  moral  sincerity/;  and  that  the  sacrament  of 
the  sapper,  like  the  preaching  of  the  Gospel,  might  be  num- 
bered among  the  means  of  grace  for  the  conversion  of  the 
soul.  With  these  views,  the  doors  of  the  Church  were 
thiTOwn  open,  and  all  the  congregation  who  could  be  were 
persuaded  to  come  in. 

*^  These  innovations  in  Church  order,  though  resisted  by 
many,  and  not  introduced  without  considerable  agitation, 
became  at  length  almost  universal  throughout  New  En- 
gland. The  consequences  were  *  *  annihilation  of  Church 
discipline  and  the  prevalence  of  Arrainian  feelings  and  opin- 
ions, mingled  with  the  disjointed  remuns  of  evangelical  doc- 
trine. *  *  Good  works  and  the  dilatory  use  of  means  oc- 
cupied the  foreground,  while  the  Holy  Spirit  waited  at  hum- 
ble distance  to  accomplish  the  little  which  remained  to  be 
done  as  the  reward  or  promised  consequence  of  antecedent 
well-doing. 

^^  So  alarming  had  this  declension  of  vital  piety  become  in 
the  days  of  Cotton  Mather  as  to  occasion  the  memorable 
prediction  that  in  forty  years,  should  it  progress  as  it  had 
done,  convulsions  would  ensue,  in  which  churches  would  be 
gathered  out  of  churches — ^a  prediction  afterward  signally 
verified ;  for  in  the  year  1740  it  pleased  the  God  of  our  fa- 
thers to  visit  the  churches  of  New  England  by  the  special 
influence  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  But  this  joyful  event,  which 
commenced  the  restoration  of  evangelical  doctrine  and  dis- 
cipline, and  planted  the  seeds  of  those  revivals  which  still 
prevail,  was,  through  the  weakness  of  some,  and  the  wicked- 
ness of  many,  made  the  occasion  of  evils  which  are  felt  to 
this  day.  I  allude  to  the  opposition  which  was  made  to  this 
work  by  the  unconverted,  the  formal,  and  the  timid ;  the 
prejudices  it  excited  against  a  learned  ministry  and  the  Con- 
gregational order;  the  intemperate  zeal  it  enkindled;  the 


272  AUTOmOGRAPHT. 

separations  it  occarioned,  which  rent  many  churches,  a&d 
laid  the  foundation  for  that  diversity  of  religious  opinion 
and  worship  which  has  so  unhappily  enfeebled  some  church- 
es and  brought  others  to  desolation. 

^^TJntil  these  separations,  which  a  proper  zeal  and  pru- 
dence on  the  part  of  the  pastors  might  easily  have  prevent- 
ed, the  ancient  external  order  of  the  churches  remained  with 
but  little  variation  or  prejudice  against  it.  The  inhabitants 
of  the  same  town  or  parish  were  of  one  denomination,  and 
worshiped  together  in  the  sanctuary  which  their  fathers  had 
built.  But  now,  driven  from  their  ordinary  course  by  a  re- 
pulsion so  violent,  the  separatist  became,  for  a  season,  the 
subject  of  an  enthusiasm  which  defied  restraint  and  despised 
order.  In  these  new  societies  awoke  that  spirit  of  prose- 
lytism  which  has  outlived  them,  and  those  deep-rooted  prej- 
udices against  a  learned  ministry,  and  those  revilings  of  a 
hireling  priesthood  and  the  standing  order,  and  those  com- 
plaints of  persecution  which  have  not  wholly  ceased  to  this 
day. 

^^  A  later  cause  of  decline  and  desolation  has  been  the  in- 
sidious influence  of  infidel  philosophy.  The  mystery  of  in- 
iquity had  in  Europe  been  operating  for  a  long  time.  The 
unclean  spirits  had  commenced  their  mission  to  the  kings  of 
the  earth  to  gather  them  together  to  the  battle  of  the  great 
day  of  God  Almighty.  But  when  that  mighty  convulsion* 
to8k  place,  that  a  second  time  burst  open  the  bottomless 
pit,  and  spread  darkness  and  dismay  over  Europe,  every 
gale  brought  to  our  shores  contagion  and  death.  -Thou- 
sands at  once  breathed  the  tainted  air  and  felt  the  fever  kin- 
dle in  the  brain.  A  paroxysm  of  moral^madness  and  terrific 
innovation  ensued.  In  the  frenzy  of  perverted  vision,  eveiy 
foe  appeared  a  friend,  and  every  friend  a  foe.    No  maxims 

*  The  French  Berolntion. 


BUILDING   WASTE  PUkCSS.  273 

were  deemed  too  wise  to  be  abandoned,  none  too  horrid  to 
be  adopted ;  no  foundations  too  deep  laid  to  be  torn  up,' 
and  no  superstructure  too  venerable  to  be  torn  down,  that 
another,  such  as  in  Europe  they  were  building  with  bones 
and  blood,  might  be  built. 

^^  As  the  institutions  of  Connecticut,  however,  were  built 
upon  a  rock,  and  were  defended  by  thousands  not  yet  be- 
reft of  common  sense  and  moral  principle,  a  few  experiments 
evinced  that  such  foundations  could  be  shaken  only  by  the 
slow  progress  of  undermining. 

'^  It  remained,  therefore,  to  extend  the  manki  till  it  should 
subtract  from  their  defense,  and  add  to  the  host  of  assailants 
a  number  ^tifScient  to  accomplish  the  work.  With  great 
feigned  reverence,  therefore,  were  the  Bible  and  catechetical 
instruction  exiled  from  the  school.  The  polluted  page  of 
infidelity  every  where  met  the  eye,  while  its  sneers^and  blas- 
phemies assailed  the  ear.  *  *  *  The  result  was  a  brood 
of  infidels,  heretics,  and  profligates — a  generation  prepared 
to  be  carried  about  as  they  have  been  by  every  wind  of  doc- 
trine, and  to  assail,  as  they  have  done,  our  most  sacred  in- 
stitutions. 

'*But  the  time  arrived,  at  length,  when  all  the  preceding 
causes  were  enlisted  as  auxiliaries  merely,  and  invested  with 
double  potency  by  political  violence  and  alienation.  The 
origin  and  progress  of  these  collisions  of  party  need  not  be 
traced ;  but  the  effects  have  been  such  on  this  once  peaceful 
state  that  the  combatants  on  bot|i  sides  have  occasion  to  sit 
down  and  weep  together  over  the  desolations  which  the  con- 
flict has  occasioned ;  for  it  has  been  keen  and  dreadful,  and, 
like  the  varying  conflict  of  battle,  has  marred  and  trodden 
down  whatever  has  stood  within  the  range  of  its  commotioq. 
On  every  field  over  which  it  has  swept  abiding  traces  are 
left  of  its  desolating  career :  &milies  divided,  neighbors  and 

M2 


274  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

friends  embittered,  ministers  and  people  alienated,  churches 
divided,  and  the  numbers  of  seceding  denominations  multi- 
plied, with  all  those  bitter  feelings  which  contentions  and 
wounds  are  calculated  to  inspire.  At  the  present  moment 
there  is  scarcely  an  ecclesiastical  denomination  in  the  state 
which  has  not  experienced  a  diminution  of  its  numbers,  or  a 
seceding  denomination  which  has  not  been  established  or 
augmented  by  these  political  contentions.    *    *    * 

^'  The  operation  of  all  these  causes  has  been  greatly  facil- 
itated by  the  change  made  in  the  law  for  the  support  of  the 
Gospel,  in  orAer  to  accommodate  it  to  the  changes  of  relig- 
ious opinion  which  had  gradually  taken  place  in  the  state. 

^'  It  was  the  fundamental  maxim  of  the  fathers  of  this 
state  that  the  preaching  of  the  Gospel  is,  in  a  civil  point  of 
view,  a  great  blessing  to  the  community,  for  the  support  of 
which  all  should  contribute  according  to  their  several  abili- 
ty. This  law,  while  the  inhabitants  of  the  state  were  all  of 
one  creed,  was  entirely  efficacious,  and  secured  to  the  peo- 
ple of  the  state  at  least  four  times  the  amount  of  religious 
instruction  which  has  ever  been  known  to  be  the  result  of 
mere  voluntary  associations  for  the  support  of  the  Gospel. 

**  But  at  length  the  multiplication  of  other  denominations 
demanded  such  a  modification  of  the  law  as  should  permit 
every  man  to  worship  God  according  to  the  dictates  of  his 
conscience,  and  compel  him  to  pay  only  for  the  support  of 
the  Gospel  in  his  own  denomination.  The  practical  effect 
has  been  to  liberate  all  conscientious  dissenters  from  sup- 
porting a  worship  which  they  did  not  approve — which  the 
law  intended,  and  to  liberate  a  much  greater  number,  with- 
out conscience,  from  paying  for  the  support  of  the  Gospel 
any  where — ^which  the  law  did  not  intend. 

*^  While  it  accommodates  the  conscientious  feelings  often, 
it  accommodates  the  angry,  revengeful,  avaricious,  and  irre- 


BUILDING   WABTS  PLACES.  275 

ligious  feelings  of  fifty,  and  threatens,  by  a  silent,  constant 
operation,  to  undermine  the  deep-laid  foundations  of  our  civil 
and  religious  order. 

*****  Let  the  wastes  multiply  till  one  third  of  the 
freemen  shall  care  for  no  religion,  one  third  attach  them- 
selves to  various  seceding  denominations,  and  a  remnant 
only  walk  in  the  oM  way,  and  the  unity  of  our  counsels  and 
the  vigor  of  our  government  would  be  gone.  The  business 
of  legislation  would  become  a  scene  of  intrigue  and  compe- 
tition, of  religious  and  political  ambition,  of  temporizing 
compromise  and  bargain  and  sale.  Each  party  would  soon 
have  its  ambitious  leaders,  who  would  kindle  the  fire  to 
warm  themselves  by,  and  cry  persecution  to  seat  themselves 
in  high  places.  Each  party  would  be  kept  organized  by 
demagogues  for  political  use,  and  the  fire  of  the  state  would 
go  up  to  heaven  as  the  smoke  of  a  great  furnace,  and  all  our 
blessings  would  perish  in  the  flames."* 

*  **He  saw  that  some  of  the  constitnted  parishes  of  Connecticnt  were 
lying  waste,  and  his  sermon  on  *  The  Building  of  Waste  Places'  resulted 
in  the  institution  of  a  Domestic  Missionary  Society  for  the  identical  work 
of  home  evangelization  in  Connecticut,  which'has  lately  been  resumed  un- 
der hopeful  auspices,  and  is  beginning  to  attract  attention  elsewhere.** — 
Dr.  Bacon. 


/ 


276  AUTOEIOGBAFHY. 


CHAPTER  XLH. 

AFFUCriONS. 

The  year  1813  was  to  be  made  memorable  by  the  death 
of  a  very  dear  member  of  the  family  circle  whose  history 
has  been  already  outlined  in  these  pages  as  intimately  con- 
nected with  his  own — the  fascinating  Mary  Hubbard. 

As  if  in  anticipation,  his  mind  was  early  in  the  year  tuned 
to  a  lofty  key  by  the  loss  of  a  beloved  brother  in  the  minis- 
try,  and  the  following  deep-toned  chords  are  struck  in  a  let- 
ter elicited  by  that  event  :* 

"Litchfield,  May  6,1818. 

♦  ♦  ♦  a  How  mysterious  are  the  ways  of  God !  and 
yet  we  can  not  doubt  their  perfect  wisdom  and  perfect  good- 
ness. Clouds  and  darkness,  however,  are  about  His  path, 
and  His  footsteps  are  in  the  great  deep.  What  He  does  we 
know  not  now,  but  we  shall  know  hereafter.  If  this  world 
were  the  whole  of  His  empire,  Ho  would  doubtless  govern 
it  very  differently ;  but  it  is  only  a  speck  in  His  immeasurable 
dominions ;  though  what  He  does  here  does  chiefly  illustrate 
His  glory,  and  fill  His  boundless  realms  with  light,  and  joy, 
and  praise.  But  how  each  event  here  takes  hold  on  eterni- 
ty ;  how  it  falls  in  exactly  in  the  right  time  and  place  to 
fill  up  a  perfect  systtm  of  administration,  our  weak  vision 
can  not  perceive ;  but,  blessed  be  God,  that  not  seeing  we 
are  enabled  to  believe — ^to  believe  that  He  will  glorify  Him- 
self; that  He  will  shine  forth  in  His  works  in  all  His  beauty, 
to  be  adored  and  admired  by  all  them  that  love  Him ;  that 
*  Addressed  to  Mn.  Asahel  Hooker,  Norwich,  Ct. 


AFFLICmONS.  27Y 

He  will  never  do  any  thing  which  will  injure  His  precious 
cause  on  earthy  or  injare,  on  the  whole,  His  dear  children. 
A  woman  may  forget  her  sucking  child,  but  God  can  not 
forget  Zion.  Earthly  friendships  may  fail,  and  every  en- 
deared connection  below  be  dissolved,  but  the  friendship  of 
God  to  His  people  will  never  fail,  and  the  blessed  relation- 
ship of  adoption  shall  never  be  dissolved.  He  who  chang- 
eth  not  has  said,  I  will  never  leave  thee  nor  forsake  thee. 
He  who  sways  the  sceptre  of  the  universe  has  said  all  things 
shall  work  together  for  good  to  them  that  love  God — ^to 
them  who  are  called  according  to  His  purpose.  Still,  you 
see  not  perhaps  how  the  dear  man's  death  can  be  for  your 
good  so  much  as  his  life,  his  example,  his  conversation,  his 
preaching,  and  his  prayers.  And  his  mourning  Church  and 
people  can  not  see  how  it  can  ever  work  for  their  good  that 
such  a  pastor,  so  beloved  and  so  needed,  should  be  taken 
from  them.  But  Brother  Hooker  ere  this  sees  through  all 
these  dark  things  probably ;  and  wait  but  a  little,  and  he, 
and  you,  and  his  pious  people  will  sing  together  the  high 
praises  of  God  for  His  wisdom  and  goodness  in  these  ad- 
verse scenes." 


At  the  same  time,  he  was  not  aware  that  the  shadow  of 
a  deeper  affliction  was  already  darkening  upon  his  house- 
hold. In  the  midst  of  a  circle  of  exuberant  health  and  ro- 
bust vitality,  the  delicate  Mary  Hubbard  was  rapidly  with- 
ering and  fading  away,  and  yet  they  knew  it  not.  Some 
sentences  of  her  letters  suffice  to  call  up  vividly  a  picture, 
alas !  too  easily  recognized  in  many  a  New  England  home. 

<«May  20, 1818. 

"  Sister  Roxana  and  her  little  group  of  countless  num- 
bers are  well,  and  I  have  as  good  nursing  as  I  had  at  home. 
There  is  a  staple  in  the  kitchen  wall  for  my  hammock  in 


278  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

wet  and  cold  weather,  and  the  wood-bonse  famishes  for 
warm  and  dry  a  most  admirable  swinging-place. 

"  Mr.  Gould  has  engaged  to  be  my  beau,  whenMr.  B 

is  engaged,  to  ride  with  me,  and  the  prospect  is  promising 
that  I  shall  be  jolted  about  in  wagons,  gigs,  and  on  horse- 
back as  much  as  I  shall  require.    *    *    *^ 

"David  R has  got  the  idea  that  Judge  Reeve  is  fail- 
ing. But  Judge  Gk>uld  says  that  Judge  Reeve  always  has 
been  the  most  able  man  in  argument  of  the  whole  mass  of 
the  lawyers  of  this  state,  and  is  the  most  luminous,  concise, 
and  clear  in  his  reasoning  of  all  the  men  that  he  ever  saw 
or  heard." 

"Junes. 

"  I  am  recovering  rapidly.  When  I  left  New  York  my 
pulse  was  114,  now  only  00.  My  night-sweats  Are  greatly 
abated,  my  copgh  also.  I  ride  six  or  eight  miles  daily,  be- 
sides walking  perpetually.    Indeed,  I  live  in  the  open  air." 


At  this  time,  apparently  without  being  fully  aware  of  the 
nature  of  the  disease,  a  visit  to  the  Springs  is  resolved  on. 
Her  sister  writes,  June  21 : 

"  Mr.  Beecher  and  Mary  set  out  yesterday  for  Ballston 
Springs.  We  have  strong  hopes  that  the  use  of  those  wa- 
ters will  restore  her  health.  Since  here,  her  symptoms  have 
entirely  changed.  The  hectic  fever  seems  to  have  left  her, 
and  those  nervous  spasms  to  be  making  their  appearance 
again." 

A  month  later  we  get  another  glimpse  in  a  letter  written 
at  Saratoga: 

"  It  will  not  do  to  idle  time  away  in  this  manner.  I  nei- 
ther ride  nor  drink  the  waters ;  it  rains  evei*y  day — every 
day.  How  can  I  get  well  ?  and  yet,  in  spite  of  all,  I  walk 
about  house,  and  steal  into  the  front  door-yard  every  time 
the  sun  peeps  out  of  his  dismal  Cimmerian  shades." 


AFFUCnOMB.  279 

The  sequel  is  disclosed  in  the  followiog  extracts  of  letters 
and  aatobiographic  narrative. 

When  I  took  her  to  Saratoga,  others  saw  in  her  signs  of 
consumption  I  did  not  perceive.  Dr.  D wight  and  his  fam- 
ily noticed  it,  but  I  did  not.  We  went  in  a  wagon,  and  I 
placed  her  in  charge  of  a  lady  there,  and  returned.  But  it 
seemed  to  me  only  a  few  days  had  passed  when,  coming 
into  the  house,  I  found  her  sitting  with  wife.  That  was 
soon  after  Henry  was  born.  She  had  written  to  her  brother 
John  at  New  York  that  she  was  growing  worse,  and  want- 
ed to  come  home,  and  he  had  brought  her  back. 


Mrs.  Beecher  to  Harriet  Foote. 

«AiigTUt4, 1818. 

^  Mary  continues  much  as  when  you  left  us.  Mother  is 
in  very  comfortable  health.  I  am  stronger,  and  hope  by  de- 
grees to  recover  my  usual  health.  I  hope  to  have  a  girl 
next  week  to  assist  in  nursing.  Mary  takes  care  of  the  chil- 
•  dren. 

*^  Write  by  next  mail,  and  let  me  know  how  you  got  along 
with  the  chiMren,  how  little  Harriet  bore  the  Journey,  and 
how  Catharine  is  and  does." 

Mr.  Beeeher  to  George  JFhote. 

**Anga8t80,1818. 

**  Dbar  Brothbr, — Mary  has  been  extremely  low  for  four 
days,  and  is  now  apparently  very  near  her  end.  She  may, 
as  she  has  already,  ontUve  our  expectations,  but  I  do  not  ex- 
pect she  will  live  thirty-six  hours.  Her  mind  continues  tran- 
quil, and  we  feel  at  rest  concerning  her. 

^'  How  does  the  world  shrink  to  a  point  when  we  stand 
on  the  borders  of  eternity !  May  we  all  be  prepared  before 
the  demand  is  made,''  Oive  an  account  of  thy  stewardship.' 


280  AUTOKOaBAPHT. 

Her  last  moments  are  thus  described  by  Dr.Beecher: 
She  died  in  my  arms.    A  few  hours  before  her  death  I 

sat  behind  her  on  the  bed,  holding  her  up,  and  she  asked 

me  to  sing, 

"Jesus  can  make  a  dying  bed 
Feel  soft  as  downy  piUows  are ; 
While  on  his  breast  I  lean  my  head, 
And  breathe  my  life  out  sweetly  there." 

After  singing  it  I  took  her  up,  and  held  her  in  my  arms 
sitting  in  the  rocking-chair.  "  Oh !"  said  she, "  how  distress- 
ed I  am !"  I  comforted  her  by  telling  her  it  would  be  over 
in  a  few  minutes.    And  it  was. 

Mr,  Beecher  to  George  Foote. 

«  September  1, 1813,  half  afker  6  A.M. 

"  The  scene  is  closed !  Dear  sister,  Mary  has  just  ceased 
to  breathe,  and  is  now,  as  I  believe,  before  the  throne  of 
God,  and  among  the  blessed.  She  had  a  turn  yesterday 
afternoon  of  great  distress,  and  was  restless,  and  occasion-, 
ally  in  considerable  distress  till  about  three  hours  before  her 
departure ;  from  this  time  she  breathed  moreifreely,  and  at 
length  fell  asleep. 

^'Mother  is  as  composed' as  could  be  expected ;  and  though 
we  are  all  afflicted  deeply  at  our  own  loss,  we  are  relieved 
by  her  release  from  suffering,  and  at  the  joy  she  has  entered, 
and  especially  that  the  will  of  the  Lord  is  done. 

*'  Our  friends  are,  one  after  another,  through  infinite  mer- 
cy of  God,  gathered,  as  we  trust,  to  the  general  assembly 
of  the  first-born,  and  to  the  spirits  of  just  men.  If  we  are 
prepared,  we  shall  soon  be  with  them,  our  sorrows  past,  our 
tears  wiped  away.  May  the  Lord  help  us  to  improve  aright 
this  afiliction !" 


DOaiBSnC   AFFAIBS. 


CHAPTER  XLm. 

.DOMBBTIC    AFFAIRS 


Thb  Utchfield  residence  consisted  at  first  of  a  square 
house  with  a  hipped  roof  and  an  L,  oonstitnting  the  back 
part  of  the  structure  shown  in  the  vigDettc.  After  three  or 
four  years  an  enlai^ment  was  thought  desirable,  and  that 
portion  of  the  edifice  seen  in  the  picture  with  a  gahle  roof 
was  added. 

There  was  no  boarding-honse  connected  with  Miss  Fierce'a 
school,  and  as  it  bronght  many  young  ladies  into  the  place, 
they  were  obliged  to  be  distributed  in  the  families  of  the 
town.    It  was  ever  a  great  object  with  Miss  Pierce  to  se- 


282  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 

care  places  for  her  pupils  in  the  best  families,  who  should 
have  a  good  influence  in  forming  their  characters.  Mrs. 
Beecher  was  already  celebrated  for  her  success  in  this  re- 
spect ;  her  scholars  at  East  Hampton  were  perfectly  under 
.  her  influence  through  life.  Some  of  them  had  even  followed 
her  to  Litchfield.  Miss  Pierce  was  therefore  very  desirous 
she  should  take  some  of  the  young  ladies  into  her  family, 
and  this,  with  the  hope  of  increasing  somewhat  the  yearly 
income,  led  to  the  enlargement  of  the  premises. 

The  ground  floor  of  the  new  part  was  occupied  by  a  large 
parlor,  in  which  memory  recalls  ministers*  meetings,  with 
clouds  of  tobacco-smoke,  and  musical  soirees,  with  piano, 
flute,  and  song.  Over  this  were  rooms  for  boarders,  and  in 
the  attic  was  the  study,  the  window  of  which,  shown  in  the 
drawing,  looked  out  upon  a  large  apple-tree. 

In  the  old  part  was  the  dining-room,  whose  large  window 
is  visible  in  the  picture,  with  bedroom  adjoining,  and  two 
east  front  rooms,  separated  by  the  old  hall  with  stair-case. 
In  the  dining-room  was  built  a  famous  Russian  stove,  so 
constructed  as  to  warm  six  rooms — three  below  and  three 
above.  The  large  window  of  the  dining-room  was  partial- 
ly covered  by  a  honeysuckle  trained  upon  the  side  of  the 
house.  In  the  long,  low  L  was  the  kitchen  and  well-room, 
and  on  the  end  of  this  a  long,  low  shed,  containing  the 
wood-house  and  carriage-house.  In  front  of  these,  and  sep- 
arated from  the  street  by  a  stone  wall,  was  the  vegetable 
garden  in  summer,  and  the  wood -pile  in  winter;  for  at 
wood-spell,  as  it  was  called,  when  all  the  teams  in  the  par- 
ish came  hauling  vast  loads  of  wood,  nearly  the  whole  space 
was  covered  with  immense  logs,  piled  up  in  rows  eight  or 
ten  feet  high. 

Behind  the  house,  which  stood"  due  north  and  south,  was 
an  orchard ;  and  on  the  east  a  narrow  yard,  filled  with  tarn- 


D01CE8TIC  ASTAJBS.  283 

arachsy  elms,  maples,  and  other  trees,  separated  it  from  the 
main  street.  The  house,  as  shown  in  the  picture,  faces 
south,  upon  a  side  street  leading  west  to  Prospect  Hill. 
The  old  part  of  the  house  fronted,  with  its  old-fashioned, 
two-leaved  double  door,  on  the  east,  looking  over  toward 
Bantam  River  and  Chestnut  Hill.  For  farther  details  we 
have  recourse  to  letters  of  the  period. 


Mrs.  BeecJier  to  Harriet  Foote. 

"April  17, 1814. 
*    *    *    c(  J  }ii^yQ  QQ^  g^Q^  f^j.  Ij^lJQ  Harriet  on  account 

of  the  joiner's  work  we  are  going  to  have  about  soon ;  but 
if  any  circumstance  unknown  to  me  makes  it  expedient  she 
should  come  home,  you  must  send  her  with  Mr.  Beecher.  I 
should  have  sent  her  a  flannel  slip  if  I  could  have  found  an 
opportunity,  but  it  is  now  too  late  in  the  spring.  You  must 
get  shoes  for  her,  and  Mr.  Beecher  must  pay  for  them ;  and 
if  he  should  forget  it,  I  will  remember.  ♦  ♦  ♦  Write 
me  an  account  of  all  matters  and  things  respecting  both 
yourselves  and  little  Harriet,  whom  you  must  tell  to  be  a 
good  girl,  and  not  forget  her  mamma,  and  brothers,  and  sis- 
ters. I  hope  to  come  for  her  some  time  in  the  summer  or 
autumn." 

Ths  Same. 

•*  Jnly  12, 1814. 

^'Deab  SiSTSit, — ^I  arrived  Saturday  at  sunset,  and  found 
all  well,  and  boy  (Henry  Ward)  in  merry  trim,  glad  at  heart 
to  be  safe  on  terra  firma  after  all  his  jolts  and  tossings.  I 
left  my  goggles  in  the  paper  box  for  combs,  on  the  toilet- 
table  where  I  slept  the  flrst  night,  and  was  removed  into 
the  back  chamber  where  Mrs.  Deveaux  slept,  the  night  we 
turned  every  thing  topsy-turvy  to  make  room  for  the  influx 
of  company.    ♦    ♦    ♦    Pray  save  me  some  pink-seed  of 


284  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

yonr  doable  pink,  and  lay  me  down  some  honeysuckle  of  all 
sorts  that  you  have,  and  save  me  a  striped  rose.  I  have 
never  seen  one.    Good-night." 

Mtb,  Beecher  to  Samud  JFbote. 

"NoTember6,18l4. 

^'  I  hear  with  great  pain  of  your  and  John's  misfortunes, 
but  I  hope  you  will  not  fail  to  derive  from  them  the  benefit 
which  doubtless  they  are  intended  to  give. 

^^  Our  heavenly  Father  doubtless  intends  to  give  us  an  op- 
portunity to  gain  true  and  abiding  riches ;  and  when  He 
frustrates  our  designs,  and  blasts  our  expectations,  there  is 
a  voice  in  these  things  which  tells  us  that  we  are  too  strong- 
ly bound  to  this  world,  or  are  in  danger  of  becoming  so,  and 
it  is  necessary  to  cut  the  cords  that  hold  us  too  strongly  to 
the  perishable  treasure,  that  we  may  with  more  diligence 
seek  after  that  which  shall  endure  unto  eternal  life.   *   *  * 

"  With  respect  to  ourselves,  we  are  not  so  much  out  of 
doors  as  when  you  were  here ;  but  we  remain  in  an  unfin- 
ished state,  being  yet  in  want  of  some  doors  and  some  win- 
dows. I  have  got  one  or  two  rooms  papered  and  painted, 
and  one  or  two  still  renudn  to  be  done. 

^*  We  have  tried  our  Russian  stove  so  far  as  to  know  that 
two  fires  warm  six  rooms  so  that  they  are  comfortably 
warm,  and  we  can  heat  them  to  any  degree  we  choose. 

^^  We  feel  the  war  somewhat  more  now  than  we  should 
one  between  the  Turks  and  Crim  Tartars,  inasmuch  as  we 
are  forced  to  pay  a  higher  price  for  every  article  in  house- 
keeping. For  the  most  part,  every  article  is  double  or  treble 
the  former  price,  and  some  things  even  more  than  that. 

*  ♦  4b  * 

"Has really  failed?    If  so,  I  wish  to  speak  to  you 

now  about  the  annuity  left  us  by  Uncle  Justin.   Judge  Reeve 


DOMESTIC  AFFAIK8.  285 

says  that  the  value  of  an  annuity  of  $200,  being  of  the  na- 
ture of  a  deposit  in  his  hands,  and  not  his  own  property, 
is  first  to  be  paid  before  any  other  demands  are  allowed. 
*    *    *    Now  I  hope  and  trust  you  will  not  believe  that  I 

would  for  the  world  take  a  cent  from to  distress  him, 

nor  from  his  creditors  to  wrong  them ;  but  if  it  honestly  be- 
longs to  me,  I  see  no  reason  why  I  should  not  have  it  se- 
cured; and,  after ^'s  affairs  are  settled,  it  shall  be  at  his 

disposal  if  it  will  assist  his  getting  into  business  again. 

^^  I  wish  you  would  take  old  Gray,  and  just  pack  yourself 
and  mother,  or  Harriet,  into  the  chaise,  and  come  up  here, 
and  see  how  pleasant  Litchfield  is  in  winter.  Tou  might 
fancy  yourself  at  sea  now  and  then,  when  we  have  a  brisk 
breeze,  with  the  help  of  a  little  imagination.  You  might 
find  sundry  other  things  to  amuse  you.  I  have  a  new  phil- 
osophical work  you  may  study,  and  some  new  poems  you 
may  read.  Write  me  quickly  before  the  new  taxes  come 
into  operation,  for  we  don't  intend  to  do  any  thing  to  sup- 
port this  war,  not  even  to  write  letters." 

Mr8,Beecher  to  Harriet  Foote, 

"November,  1814. 
^^I  have  been  expecting  to  visit  you  in  a  sleigh  with  Ed- 
ward and  Mary,  but  have  not  learned  whether  there  ia  snow 
enough.  I  write  sitting  upon  my  feet,  with  my  paper  on  the 
seat  of  a  chair,  while  Henry  is  hanging  round  my  neck,  and 
climbing  on  my  back,  and  Harriet  is  begging  me  to  please 
to  make  her  a  baby.  I  write  lest  you  should  not  keep  Mr. 
Beecher  in  the  house  long  enough  to  learn  any  thing  about 
us  from  him,  as  I  heard  him  this  morning  saying  he  should 
probably  be  able  to  catch  some  fish  now  at  the  river.  All 
the  children  send  love." 


286  AUTOHIOGBAPHT. 

From  this  enlargement  of  the  house  arose  pecuniary  em- 
barrassments, to  which,  in  his  reminiscences  of  the  period, 
Dr.  Beecher  referred  as  follows : 

Your  mother  built  the  addition,  with  my  consent.  She 
had  a  small  income,  about  $200  a  year,  from  property  in- 
vested in  a  business  firm  in  New  York.  When  that  house 
failed  she  lost  all,  and  at  the  same  time  the  cost  of  the  build- 
ing was  found  to  be  far  greater  than  we  had  estimated,  and 
the  war  had  made  'every  thing  dear. 

We  took  boarders  to  eke  out  the  salary,  but  it  became 
manifest,  before  long,  that  we  could  not  go  on.  One  day  I 
spoke  out,  and  said  that,  for  aught  I  could  see,  we  were  go- 
ing to  be  bankrupt.  She  was  silent ;  not  agitated,  but  per- 
fectly quiet  and  gentle.  I  scarcely  ever  saw  her  agitated, 
so  perfect  was  her  faith  and  resignation. 

When  my  people  found  out  how  the  matter  stood,  they 
came  up  nobly,  and  rabed  $3000,  and  gave  me  two  years* 
salary.  I  had  been  four  years  on  the  stretch  in  revival 
preaching.  Twice  there  had  been  a  revival  in  Miss  Fietce's 
school.  I  had  six  preaching  places  out  in  the  neighbor- 
hoods, which  were  visited  with  revivals.    The  influence  of 

this  made  but  one  voice.    Even  old  Dr. ^  who  was  so 

economical  that  he  boasted  of  having  kept  all  his  accounts 
for  thirty  years  with  one  quill-pen,  and  said  he  had  thought 
so  closely  on  the  subject  of  economy  that  he  knew  exactly 
how  to  lean  his  arm  on  the  table  so  as  not  to  take  the  nap 
of^  and  how  to  set  down  his  foot  with  the  least  possible 
wear  to  the  sole  of  the  shoe — even  he  said,  ^'  There's  nothing 
like  it.    He's  determined  we  shall  all  be  saved." 

I  never  had  any  trouble  with  my  people.  If  any  thing 
came  up,  instead  of  going  and  trying  to  put  broken  glass  to- 
gether, I  always  tried  to  preach  well,  and  it  swallowed  up 
every  thing. 


GO&BX8PONDJBNCJIB,  1815-16.  287 


CHAPTER  XLIV. 

COBRESPONDSNCS,  1815-16. 

Mr,  Beecher  to  Mr.  Cornelius, 

<<Febnuu7  25,1815. 

*  *  *  "I  do  expect  something  from  Colonel  Tall- 
madge  and  others  here,  bat  it  can  not  be  had  till  the  society* 
is  incorporated.  When  that  is  done,  I  think  the  Address 
should  be  published  and  spread,  and  soon  after  agents  for 
each  county  sent  to  solicit  personally  in  every  town,  besides 
such  exertions  as  each  minister  may  be  able  to  make.  I 
will  myself  undertake  the  tour  of  Litchfield  County,  or  rath- 
er, perhaps,  of  the  South  Association,  and  engage  another 
for  the  North.  ♦  ♦  ♦  The  revival  in  Princeton  College 
is  truly  glorious — ^a  beam  of  light  announcing  the  approach 
of  a  cloudless  day. 

'^  You  will  come  here  when  you  think  proper.  I  shall  al- 
ways want  your  help,  and  always  be  happy  to  help  you  if  I 
can.  I  like  your  plan  much  of  acquainting  yourself  with 
the  active  duties  of  a  minister  as  well  as  with  doctrinal 
knowledge.  I  hope  the  thing  will  be  hereafter  more  regard- 
ed, as  the  usefulness  of  a  minister  depends  much  upon  his 
manner  of  presenting  the  truth,  and  upon  his  pastord  enter- 
prise among  his  people.  I  am  sure  that  I  exert  a  powerful 
and  salutary  influence  out  of  the  pulpit,  in  conference  meet- 
ings, and  lectures,  and  family  visits,  as  I  do  in  the  pulpit  on 
thfl  Sabbath  day." 


In  conversation  with  respect  to  this  letter,  he  remarked, 
^'  This  letter  was  about  a  State  Home  Missionary  Society  for 


288  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

bailding  up  waste  places.  A  large  proportion  of  the  minis- 
try of  the  state  were  in  it.  There  was  some  grumbling 
through  Dr.  Strong's  influence,  because  he  feared  its  compe- 
tition with  the  other  Home  Missionary  Society  for  settle- 
ments out  of  the  state ;  but  it  continued  a  number  of  years 
till  it  answered  its  purpose,  and  was  merged  in  the  Home 
Missionary  Society.  Through  its  aid,  some  forty  churches, 
then  in  desolation,  are  now  well  established." 


Mrs.  Beecher  to  Mrs.  M>ote. 

"NoTexnber  19,1815. 
*^  I  have  regained  my  usual  health  except  a  cold,  which 
has  brought  back  my  cough.    The  little  babe*  continues  to 
grow  finely.    He  regrets  the  loss  of  your  company  and  con- 
versation, though  Betsy  Burr  endeavors  to  make  it  up  to 
•  him  in  some  measure. 

^' As  Mr.  Beecher  wrote  me  from  New  London,  I  imagine 
he  did  not  visit  Nut  Plains.  Write  me  how  you  like  trav- 
eling in  the  steam-boat."    ♦    ♦    * 

Mr.  ComelitMf  to . 


«Deceniberll,I815. 

^'  Mr.  Beecher  calls  on  me  to  attend  conference  meetings 
two  or  three  times  a  week.  His  sermons  are  very  interest- 
ing and  useful  to  me.  I  take  notes  from  them.  Yesterday 
his  text  was  Isaiah,  Iv.,  6 ;  and  the  sentiment  deduced  was 
that  ^  the  appropriate  scriptural  sense  of  seeking  Ood  is 
that  it  is  a  holy  exercise  of  the  heart? 

^^  It  is  fearful  to  be  a  sinner.  One  head  of  the  sermon, 
proving  the  efforts  of  sinners  to  be  unholy,  was  thus  ex* 
pressed :  ^  Those  who  keep  on  in  a  course  of  unregenerate 

^  Charles,  bom  October  7, 1816. 

t  Mr.  Cornelias  became  an  inmate  of  the  family  in  November,  I8U». 


CORRBSPONDEKCB,  1815-16.  289 

seeking,  and  hold  ont  to  the  end  of  life  in  that  way,  will  cer- 
tainly be  lost.' " 

The  Same. 

'^Janufury,  1816. 

"Mr.  Beecher  has  written  a  long  letter  to  Dr.  Green  on 
the  subject  of  a  National  Bible  Society  ;*  and,  agreeably  to 
Mr.  Mills's  request,  I  shall  write  to  him  immediately  and  ac- 
quaint him  of  the  fact,  as  possibly  he  may  be  able  to  notake 
a  happy  use  of  it. 

"  It  gave  Mr.  Beecher,  as  well  as  mysdf,  great  satis&ction 
to  learn  the  change  of  sentiment  in  the  New  York  Bible  So- 
ciety on  this  subject.  It  is  a  most  favorable  omen.  We 
have  no  doubt  of  the  ultimate  success  of  the  society." 

The  Same, 

''March  8,1816. 

"Mr.  Beecher  has  just  received  most  enlivening  intelli- 
gence from  Long  Island.  You  ma^Tremember  he  paid  the 
people  of  his  former  charge  a  visit  last  fall,  and  God  made 
him  instrumental  of  great  good.  There  are  now  hundreds 
converted  to  Grod — seventy  in  Sag  Harbor,  seventy  in  East 
Hampton,  and  several  in  Bridgehampton.  On  Shelter  Isl- 
and God  has  come  down  gloriously.  Here,  on  Litchfield 
Hill,  it  may  be  said  with  truth  that  God  is  blessing  us  with 
a  perpetual  revival." 


On  this  letter  Dr.  Beecher  observed : 
You  see,  the  fact  is,  I  had  a  revival  in  my  bones  for  East 
ELampton,  and  hadn't  any  for  Litchfield.    I  fell  into  a  state 

*  *'  He  lived  to  be  among  the  last  sarriTon — if  not  the  last— of  the  con- 
vention of  delegatee  by  which  the  American  Bible  Society  was  institnted 
in  1816,  of  which  convention  he  was  secretary.**-— Dr.  Bacov. 

N 


290  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 

of  great  revival  feeling  for  my  old  people ;  kept  thinking, 
thinking  aboat  them ;  could  not  get  them  out  of  my  mind. 
Finally,  I  told  your  mother, "  I  will  go  over  there  and  see 
them ;"  and  I  went  over  on  purpose.  I  preached,  and  walk- 
ed with  Deacon  Tallmadge  up  and  down  the  street,  making 
oalls,  and  there  was  a  revival. 


Mrs,  JSeecJier  to  Harriet  JFbote. 

"June  17, 1816. 

"  Mr.Beecher  goes  to  New  Haven  to-morrow,  and  I  there- 
fore write  to  tell  yon  that  we  arrived  at  home  on  Thursday 
in  good  health.  Charles  is  so  fat  I  can  hardly  lift  him.  He 
has  now  four  teeth,  and,  no  doubt,  if  he  could  see  you,  he 
would  give  you  a  hearty  bite  by  way  of  kissing.    ♦    *    * 

"Remember  the  heathen  children  at  Bombay  and  through 
India,  and  consider  how  you  can  benefit  them.  Don't  say 
'  I  can  do  nothing.'  You  can  do  much,  with  the  blessing  of 
God,  which  you  will  certainly  have,  if  you  try  with  all  your 
heart  to  do  good.  Tell  George  that  he  must  have  no  rest 
tiU  he  tries  to  induce  the  young  men  to  raise  a  sum  suffi- 
cient to  support  one  heathen  child  in  a  missionary  family. 
Thirty  dollars  is  the  sum  necessary ;  this  they  might  raise 
without  being  ever  the  poorer,  and  this  sum  might  make 
many  rich.  If  the  child  should  be  converted,  and  become  a 
missionary  to  carry  the  Gk>spel  to  his  heathen  ^brethren, 
would  not  many  be  saved  through  your  means,  whom  you 
shall  hereafter  meet  in  the  kingdom  of  heaven ;  and  will  not 
this  be  a  greater  reward  than  houses  and  lands  added  to 
what  you -already  possess,  even  though  they  were  trebled 
ten  times  ?  And  then  to  count  the  sons  and  daughters  in 
ages  to  come  brought  home  to  God  through  his  blessing  on 
your  exertions  for  that  one  child,  which  you  shall  be  the 
means  of  saving  from  heathen  darkness  and  abandonment. 


COBBBSPONDXNCX,  1815-16.  291 

what  a  large  interest  will  your  money  bring,  if  happiness  be 
worth  the  purchase."* 

*  In  a  biQgrapbical  sketch  of  Dr.  Beecher  in  Eilbonme's  History  of 
Litchfield,  we  find  the  following  statement : 

''Betnrning  foU  of  zeal  from  the  first  meeting  of  the  American  Board 
of  Commissioners  for  Foreign  Missions  in  1812,  he  called  together  in  this 
village  several  clergymen  and  laymen  from  varions  parts  of  the  county, 
who  organized  the  Litchfield  County  Foreign  Mission  Society — ^the  fisst 

AUZILIABT  OF  THJS  AmESICAN  BoABD.'* 

The  American  Board  came  into  existence  in  1810,  the  year  of  Dr. 
Beecher*s  removal  to  Litchfield,  and  was  incorporated  in  1812.  It  may 
have  been  its  first  meeting  as  a  corporate  body  to  which  reference  is  here 
made. 


292  AUTOBIOGBAFHY. 


CHAPTER  XLV. 

BBREAVl^HENT. 

Mtb.  Dr.  Taylor  to  — 


"1868. 

^*In  regard  to  Mrs.  Stowe's  request  to  have  me  write  any 
reminiscences  of  her  mother,  I  would  say  that  so  many  years 
have  elapsed  since  her  death — ^my  own  long  life  has  been  a 
scene  of  such  varied  changes,  of  labors  and  trials,  and  of 
commingling  oi  sweet  and  bitter^  that  the  scenes  and  the  in- 
terviews  of  those  days  have  passed  from  my  recollection  to 
a  considerable  extent. 

Dr.  Beecher  was,  however,  as  I  distinctly  remember,  at 
our  house  only  a  few  days  after  his  wife  was  taken  ill.  A 
decided  opinion  expressed  by  him  that  it  was  her  last  sick- 
ness surprised  us  much,  as  she  had  been  with  him  on  a  visit 
to  us  but  a  few  months  previous,  and  in  apparently  a  state 
of  perfect  health  and  vigor.  I  recollect  to  have  expressed 
surprise  that  he  could  so  confidently  predict  such  an  issue, 
when  the  illness  had  then  been  of  only  ten  days'  continu- 
ance. He  answered,  ^  I  will  tell  you  why.  We  Ifad  been,' 
said  he,  ^  to  make  a  visit  to  a  parishioner  two  or  three  miles 
from  the  village,  had  taken  tea,  and  enjoyed  a  couple  of 
hours  with  the  worthy  family.  It  was  a  fine  winter  night, 
not  very  cold,  excellent  sleighing,  and  a  full  moon.  Soon 
after  we  left  the  house,  my  wife  startled  me  by  saying, "  I 
do  not  think  I  shall  be  with  you  long."  When  I  asked 
the  reason  for  this  opinion,  she  replied,  **  I  have  had  a  vis- 
ion of  heaven  and  its  blessedness." ' 


BBBEAVBHSNT.  293 

Dr.  Beecher  then  repeated  many  things  she  had  added,  in 
respect  to  her  habitual  peace,  her  joy  in  Christ,  and  her  more 
than  willingness  to  leave  him  and  her  children.  From  that 
moment,  Dr.  Beecher  said,  he  had  felt  that  she  was  ripe  for 
heaven  and  would-  soon  be  there.  Your  dear  father*  and  I 
were  then  united  in  the  opinion  that  he  was  right,  and  it 
proved  so.  I  think  Mrs.  Beecher  did  not  live  more  than  six 
weeks  after  this,  and  the  doctor  came  immediately  after  her 
interment  and  spent  several  days  with  us.  I  was  quite 
young  at  the  time,  and  the  subject  in  almost  all  its  bearings 
was  new  to  me,  impressed  me  forcibly,  and,  I  have  always 
thought,  was  blessed  to  me,  for  then  my  experience  in  the 
Christian  life  was  very  limited. 

*' I  regret  my  inability  to  recall  any  thing  definite  in  my 
intercourse  with  Mrs.  Beecher.  She  was  a  woman  of  fine 
presence — a  combination  in  her  manner  (as  I  distinctly  re- 
member) of  much  dignity  and  sweetness.  She  was  a  wom- 
an to  look  vp  to  and  respect  as  well  as  admire.^ 


9> 


Harriet  Foote  to  Mrs,  Ihote. 

**September2,1816. 
^'  RoxAKA  remains  much  as  she  was  when  I  last  wrote, 
only  her  strength  decays.  She  can  seldom  raise  herself 
without  assistance.  She  rides  when  the  weather  will  per- 
mit, and  Ve  have  increased  her  dose  of  laudanum  to  twenty 
drops." 

The  Same. 

**  September  10, 1816. 
*^  Sister  is  a  little  better  two  nights  past.    She  has  rested 
without  coughing,  and  has  less  fever  by  day,  which  is  cer- 
tainly more  comfortable.   We  dare  not  flatter  ourselves  that 

*  Dr.  Taylor.    The  letter  is  addressed  to  a  daughter. 


294  AUTOBIOOBAPHT. 

it  will  be  permanent,  but,  I  hope,  are  tbankfol  for  any  re- 
spite." 

Mr,  Beecher  to  Mr,  George  Foote. 

"  September  25, 1816. 
^'DsAB  Bbotheb, — ^It  is  past.  I  wrote  to  mother. Mon- 
day morning,  and  at  a  quarter  past  three  this  morning  she 
fell  asleep.  In  the  course  of  the  day  she  had  two  or  three 
short  turns  of  distress,  but  for  the  last  six  or  eight  hours  she 
breathed  more  freely,  and  died  without  a  struggle.  About 
four  hours  before  her  death  she  had  a  lucid  interval,  in  which 
I  conversed  with  her  for  twenty  minutes.  Her  state  of  mind 
was  heavenly,  and  I  have  no  doubt  that  her  sorrow  is  turn- 
ed into  joy.  We  did  not  send  to  you  because  we  consid- 
ered that  the  journey  and  sorrow  together  would  be  too 
much  for  mother,  and  that  for  you  to  come  find  leave  her 
would  aggravate  her  sorrow.  I  shall  write  to  John  imd 
Samuel  by  the  first  mail.  The  funeral  is  to  be  Thursday,  at 
ten  o'clock  A.M." 

Mrs.  Beeve  to  Mr9.  Tondinson. 

'*September27, 1816. 

^^The  scene  has  closed  with  our  dear  friend  Mrs.  Beecher. 
She  has,  as  we  trust  and  hope,  entered  upon  her  eternal 
rest,  and  is  now,  we  trust,  joining  in  songs  of  redeeming 
love. 

**Her  disease  progressed  much  in  the  same  manner  after 
you  saw  her  as  before ;  her  strength  declined  rapidly,  and 
her  fever  never  abated  in  the  least,  but  rather  increased  from 
the  conmiencement.  Her  cough  troubled  her  but  little,  and 
almost  ceased  before  her  death.  Her  respiration  was  hard 
and  difficult  from  the  beginning  to  the  close  of  her  com- 
plaints, and  she  suffered  but  little  except  from  this  and  the 
excessive' weakness,  until  two  or  three  days  before  her  death, 


BEBSAYKHSNT.  295 

when  she  was  afflicted  with  acute  spasmodic  pain  at  the  pit 
of  the  stomach. 

*'  On  Monday,  the  23d,  at  evening,  she  discovered  indica- 
tions of  speedy  dissolution.  I  had  requested  to  be  called  in, 
as  I  consider  it  a  great  privilege  to  stand  by  the  dying  bed 
of  God's  children,  and  to  be  with  one  so  dearly  loved  in  her 
last  moments  was  grateful.  In  consequence  of  her  extreme 
weakness,  her  mind  wandered,  her  conversation  appeared 
broken  for  most  part  of  the  time ;  but  God,  in  His  infinite 
mercy  to  her  and  her  dear  husband,  granted  them  a  most 
precious  interview.  Her  soul  lighted  up  and  gilded  the  way 
as  she  entered  the  valley  of  the  shadow  of  death.  She  made 
a  very  feeling  and  appropriate  prayer  in  my  hearing,  and, 
before  I  got  there,  had  made  several  during  the  evening. 

^^  She  told  her  husband  that  her  views  and  anticipations 
of  heaven  had  been  so  great  that  she  could  hardly  sustain 
it,  and  if  they  had  been  increased  she  should  have  been  over- 
whelmed, and  that  her  Savior  had  constantly  blessed  her ; 
that  she  had  peace  without  one  cloud ;  and  that  she  had 
never,  during  her  sickness,  prayed  for  her  life.  She  dedi- 
cated her  sons  to  God  for  missionaries,  and  said  that  her 
greatest  desire  was  that  her  children  might  be  trained  up 
for  God ;  and  she  trusted  God  would,  in  His  own  time,  pro- 
vide another  companion  for  him  that  would  more  than  fill 
her  place. 

**  She  spoke  of  the  advancement  of  Christ's  kingdom  with 
joy,  and  of  the  glorious  day  that  was  ushering  in. 

''  She  attempted  to  speak  to  her  children,  but  she  was  ex- 
tremely exhausted,  and  their  cries  and  sobs  were  such  that 
she  could  say  but  little.  She  told  them  that  Qoi  could  do 
more  for  them  than  she  had  done  or  could  do,  and  that  they 
must  trust  Him. 

'^  Mr.  Beecher  then  made  a  prayer,  in  which  he  gave  her 


296  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

back  to  God,  and  dedicated  all  that  they  held  in  common  to 
Him.  She  then  fell  into  a  sweet  sleep,  from  which  she  awoke 
in  heaven. 

*'It  is  a  most  moving  scene  to  see  eight  little  children 
weeping  aromid  the  bed  of  a  dying  mother ;  but,  still,  it  was 
very  cheering  to  see  how  God  coold  take  away  the  sting  of 
death,  and  give  sach  a  victory  over  the  grave. 

^'  Oar  dear  pastor  has  set  us  all  an  example  worth  imi- 
tating; you  know  not  how  charmingly  he  appears  under 
this  trying  affliction. 

*^  He  counts  up  all  his  mercies,  and  talks  of  the  goodness 
of  God  continually.  He  says  he  could  bring  to  his  mind  a 
thousand  tender  recollections,  and  make  himself  very  un- 
happy, but  he  hopes  the  Lord  will  make  him  useful  to  his 
people,  and  in  that  way  his  time  and  thoughts  can  be  occu- 
pied. May  God  prepare  us  all  to  meet  never  more  to  part ! 
We  keep  little  Charles  yet;  he  is  a  lovely  boy." 

Mr.  BeecJier  to  Mr.  Taylor. 

**  Litchfield,  September  80, 1816. 

^^Deab'Bbotheb, — ^The  trying  scene  is  past,  and  trying 
indeed  it  has  been,  but  not  without  many  alleviations.  The 
state  of  her  mind  was  heavenly  through  her  whole  decline 
and  to  the  last.  She  experienced  joys  at  times  unspeakable 
and  full  of  glory  while  meditating  on  heaven.  Her  resigna- 
tion was  certainly  beyond  any  thing  I  have  ever  witnessed. 

"Hcrriet,  her  sister,  has  been  with  her  for  six  weeks,  day 
and  night,  and  has  been  an  angel  of  mercy  to  us.  My  peo- 
ple, too,  have  done  all  that  a  people  could  be  desired  to  do 
to  express  their  sympathy  and  affection,  and  to  alleviate  my 
cares  and  sorrows,  and  I  trust  my  God  has  not  failed  to  grant 
His  own  suppoH.    Yesterday  I  preached,  and  'uhjlb  hdped. 

''  And  now,  brother,  when  will  you  come  and  see  me,  and 


BSBXAYBMBNT.  29V 

sit  down  and  commune  with  me  for  a  great  while ;  for  lam 
alone  when  my  mind  is  not  occupied  by  study  or  the  con- 
versation of  friends. 

"  It  is  agreed  to  have  a  meeting  at  my  house  at  a  time  yet 
to  be  named,  composed  of  Mr.  Tyler,  Mr.  Nettleton,  Mr.  Har- 
vey, Mr.  Taylor,  of  New  Haven,  and  myself.  Each  is  to  pro- 
duce a  number  of  his  best  sermons  to  be  made  into  a  doc- 
trinal tract.  Two  or  three  days  are  to  be  spent  in  reading 
and  criticism,  and  then  each  is  to  take  a  subject  to  write  a 
tract  upon.  We  must  have  a  set  of  doctrinal  tracts  just 
right,  and  to  have  such  we  must  make  them.  I  shall  be  able 
to  give  you  information  the  last  of  this  week  when  the  meet- 
ing will  be,  and  you  must  not  fail  to  come,  and  come  pre- 
pared to  stay^on  the  Sabbath  and  preach  for  me,  and  ham- 
mer my  people  to  pay  me  for  hammering  yours. 

''  How  do  the  bishop^s  people  come  on  ?  Do  they  con- 
tinue  to  squib  you  in  the  newspapers,  or  are  they  waiting 
for  the  great  gun  to  be  loaded  and  fired  ? 

^  Who  is  the  chaiiman  of  the  committee  of  supplies  ?  We 
must  get  out  some  agents  before  long;  we  will  conclude 
who  when  you  come.  ^ 

"My  health  is  better  than  it  has  been ;  it  has  been  much 
shaken.  I  am  willing  to  live  yet  a  little  longer  for  my  fam- 
ily and  the  Church  of  God. 

"  Are  we  to  be  revolutionized  by  Churchmen  and  Demo- 
crats ?    What  is  your  opinion  ? 

"  How  is  Dr.  D wight's  health  ?  Love  to  Mrs.TayU)r  and 
all  friends,  and  believe  me  as  ever  yours.'' 


The  following  are  Dn  Beecher's  latest  reminiscences  of 
this  affliction : 

Tour  mother  had  consumptive  symptoms  for  a  year  be- 
fore her  last  sickness,  though  we  were  ignorant  of  it.    When 

N2 


298  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

ske  was  taken  it  was  very  suddenly.  She  rode  ont  with 
me  to  tea  at  Bradleysville  about  six  weeks  before  her  death, 
and  when  we  came  back  it  had  cleared  o£^  with  the  wind  at 
the  northwest,  clear,  brisk,  and  cold.  She  told  me  then  that 
she  did  not  expect  to  be  with  me  long,  and  I  saw  that  she 
was  ripe  for  heaven.  When  we  reached  home  she  was  in  a 
sort  of  chill.  I  made  a  fire,  and  warmed  her,  and  we  went 
to  bed.  The  next  day  I  was  obliged  to  go  to  New  Haven, 
and  had  to  start  before  breakfast.  I  told  Taylor  then  what 
I  knew,  and  they  were  astonished.  When  I  returned  some 
days  after,  I  met  Grove  Catlin  as  I  passed  through  town, 
and  the  first  question  he  asked  was,  ^^  Have  you  seen  Mrs. 
Beecher?"  and  I  saw  he  looked  serious.  I  found  that  she 
had  had  another  chill  the  next  night  after  I  }eft,  and  had  a 
cold,  with  all  the  symptoms  of  rapid  consumption.  Entering 
into  all  the  reality  of  her  situation,  she  dictated  a  request  for 
the  prayers  of  the  congregation,  and  Cornelius  wrote  it. 
That  note  was  remarkable.  I  wish  it  had  been  preserved. 
Her  mind  was  so  made  up — she  was  so  settled,  quiet,  re- 
signed, and  grateful,  that  her  petitions  were  thanksgivings, 
so  that  the  congregation  notice^  it. 

When  I  came  into  the  house  and  saw  how  she  looked,  I 
burst  into  tears.  But  I  was  not  alone ;  there  was  not  a  dry 
eye  in  the  house.  Her  sickness  lasted  only  a  few  weeks  aft- 
er that.  Charles  was  not  more  than  nine  months  old  when 
he  was  taken  away.  When  she  let  him  go,  as  she  gave  him 
up  into  the  arms  of  Miss  Ogden,  she  said,  ^'Poor  child !  what 
will  become  of  him?" 

It  was  in  September,  which  her  sister  Harriet  always  re- 
garded as  a  fatal  month  to  their  family,  six  of  its  members 
having  died  in  that  month.  She  herself  had  a  kind  of  pre- 
sentiment that  whatever  was  of  ill  omen  would  happen  to 
her  in  September.    She  died  in  calm  and  tranquil  assurance. 


BSBEAVEMBNT.  ^99 

In  her  last  moments  I  repeated  to  her  the  passage,  '*  Ton 
are  now  come  anto  Mount  Zion,  unto  the  city  of  the  living 
God,  the  heavenly  Jerusalem,  and  to  an  innumerahle  com- 
pany of  angels;  to  the  general  assembly  and  Church  of 
the  first-born  which  are  written  in  heaven,  and  to  God  the 
Judge  of  all,  and  to  the  spirits  of  just  men  made  perfect, 
and  to  Jesus  the  Mediator  of  the  New  Covenant,  and  to  the 
blood  of  sprinkling,  that  speaketh  better  things  than  the 
blood  of  Abel." 

Few  women  have  attained  to  more  remarkable  piety. 
Her  faith  was  strong,  and  her  prayer  prevailing.  It  was 
her  wish  that  all  her  sons  should  devote  themselves  to  the 
work  of  the  ministry,  and  to  it  she  consecrated  them  with 
fervent  prayer.  Her  prayers  have  been  heard.  All  her 
sons  have  been  converted,  and  are  now,  according  to  her 
wish,  ministers  of  Christ. 

A  little  before  her  death  she  adopted  peace  principles. 
She  was  conscientious,  and  took  serious  hold  of  the  subject. 
We  made  an  agreement  to  spend  an  hour  in  a  fair  state- 
ment of  the  subject.  I  and  she  had  no  rivalry  in  our  dis- 
cussions ;  if  either  saw  the  other  to  have  the  truth,  we  al- 
ways owned  it.  We  considered  the  subject,  and  she  came 
to  the  conclusion  and  owned  that  there  was  such  a  thing  as 
war  that  was  right.  She  was  candid  as  the  day  is  long. 
As/or  her  countenance,  that  is  gone — can  not  be  described. 
But  oh,  what  there  is  in  those  scenes  that  lets  out  all  the 
emotions  of  the  soul !  I  can  not  describe  your  mother  in 
words.  It  was  not  the  particular  this  or  that  put  together 
would  describe  Rozana,  but  a  combination  such  as  I  never 
met  with  but  in  her. 

You  know  that  conversation  I  had  about  our  liabilities 
of  temper  soon  after  we  were  married.  Well,  she  never 
forgot  it.    And  there  was  one  time,  not  long  before  her 


800  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 

death,  when  I  was  pressed  every  where  to  do  every  thing, 
and  some  engagement  I  had  forgotten  or  broken,  and  she 
had  heard  of  it.  It  was  when  the  odium  against  the  stand- 
ing order  was  rising,  and  every  thing  was  seized  hold  of. 
She  wanted  to  apprize  me ;  took  me  into  the  back  room, 
alone,  and  began  to  say,  in  the  most  kind,  gentle,  tender 
tones,  she  hoped  I  would  not  be  offended  nor  grieved,  but 
would  be  willing  she  should  communicate  what  she  had 
heard.  Her  lips  trembled.  That  showed  that  the  impres- 
sion of  that  early  interview  had  lasted  to  that  hour ;  and 
she  took  all  the  care  that  wisdom  could  take. 

Her  death  was  to  me  an  overwhelming  stroke ;  for,  in 
addition  to  my  loss,  it  was  a  time  of  disgrace  and  odium 
such  as  the  ministry  in  this  country  have  never  been  call- 
ed to  pass  through.  The  tide  of  party  feeling  was  nearly 
at  its  height,  and  while  the  enemy  were  raving  we  had 
agreed  to  hold  still,  and  did  hold  still.  But  so  fierce  was 
the  blast  that  some  of  our  own  people  flinched  and, were 
panic-stricken.  The  whole  year  after  her  death  was  a  year 
of  great  emptiness,  as  if  there  was  not  motive  enough  in 
the  world  to  move  me.  I  used  to  pray  earnestly  to  God 
either  to  take  me  away,  or  to  restore  to  me  that  interest  in 
things  and  susceptibility  to  motive  I  had  had  before. 


FIUAL  BSCOLLECnONS. 


CHAPTER  XL VI. 

FILIAL    RECOLLECTIONS. 


^Vom  Mrs.  S,  B.  Stotee. 
"Mt  deab  Bbotheb,  —  I  was  between  three  and  four 
years  of  age  when  onr  mother  died,  and  my  own  personal 
recollections  of  her  are  therefore  but  few.  But  the  deep  in- 
.tereat  and  veneration  that  she  inspired  in  all  who'knew  her 
was  such  that,  during  all  my  childhood,  I  was  constantly 


302  AUTOBIOGRAFHT. 

hearing  her  spoken  of,  and,  from  one  friend  or  another,  some 
incident  or  anecdote  of  her  life  was  constantly  being  im- 
pressed on  me. 

^'  Mother  was  one  of  those  strong,  restful,  yet  widely  sym- 
pathetic natures,  in  whom  all  around  seemed  to  find  comfort 
and  repose.^  She  was  of  a  temperament  peculiarly  restful 
and  peace-giving.  Her  union  of  spirit  with  God,  unruffled 
and  unbroken  even  from  early  childhood,  seemed  to  impart 
to  her  an  equilibrium  and  healthful  placidity  th^t  no  earthly 
reverses  ever  disturbed.  The  communion  between  her  and 
my  father  was  a  peculiar  one.  It  was  an  intimacy  through- 
out the  whole  range  of  their  being.  There  was  no  human 
mind  in  whose  decisions  he  had  greater  confidence.  Both 
intellectually  and  morally  he  regarded  her  as  the  better  and 
stronger  portion  of  himself,  and  I  remember  hearing  him  say 
that,  after  her  death,  his  first  sensation  was  a  sort  of  terror, 
like  that  of  a  child  suddenly  shut  out  alone  in  the  dark. 

^^  Her  death  occurred  at  a  time  when  the  New  England 
ministry  were  in  a  peculiar  crisis  of  political  and  moral  trial, 
and  the  need  of  such  a  stay  and  support  in  his  household 
was  more  than  ever  felt. 

'^  He  told  me  that  at  this  tinie  he  was  so  oppressed  by  the 
constant  turning  toward  her  of  thoughts  and  feelings  which 
he  had  constantly  been  in  the  habit  of  speaking  to  her,  that, 
merely  to  relieve  himself,  he  once  sat  down  and  wrote  to  her 
a  letter,  in  which  he  poured  out  all  his  soul.  I  asked  him 
the  question  whether  he  ever  had  any  reason  to  believe  that 
the  spirits  of  the  blessed  are  ever  permitted  to  minister  to 
us  in  our  earthly  sorrows,  and  he  said,  after  a  moment  of 
deep  thought, '  I  never  but  once  had  any  thing  like  if.  It 
was  a  time  of  great  trial  and  obloquy,  and  I  had  been  visit- 
ing around  in  my  parish,  and  heard  many  things  here  and 
there  that  distressed  me.    I  came  home  to  my  house  almost 


FILIAL  BBCOLLBCnONS.  308 

overwhelmed ;  it  seemed  as  if  I  roust  sink  under  it.  *  I  went* 
to  sWep  in  the  noi*th  bedroom — the  room  where  your  moth- 
er died.  I  dreamed  that  I  heard  voices  and  footsteps  in  the 
next  room,  and  that  I  knew  immediately  that  it  was  Roxana 
and  Mary  Hubbard  coming  to  see  me.  The  door  opened, 
and  Mary  staid  without,  but  your  mother  came  in  and  came 
toward  me.  She  did  not  speak,  but  she  smiled  on  me  a 
smile  of  heaven,  and  with  that  smile  all  my  sorrow  passed 
away.  I  awoke  joyful,  and  I  was  light-hearted  for  weeks 
after.' 

*'  In  my  own  early  childhood  only  two  incidents  of  my 
mother  twinkle  like  rays  through  the  darkness.  One  was 
of  our  all  running  imd  dancing  out  before  her  from  the  nurs- 
ery to  the  sitting-room  one  Sabbath  morning,  and  her  pleas- 
ant voice  saying  after  us,  ^  Remember  the  Sabbath  day  to 
keep  it  holy.' 

^^ Another  remembrance  is  this:  Mother  was  an  enthu- 
siastic horticulturalist  in  all  the  small  ways  that  limited 
means  allowed.  Her  brother  John,  in  New-York,  had  just 
sent  her  a  small « parcel  of  fine  tulip -bulbs.  I  remember 
rummaging  these  out  of  an  obscure  corner  of  the  nursery 
one  day  when  she  was  gone  out,  and  being  strongly  seized 
with  the  idea  that  they  were  good  to  eat,  and  using  all  the 
little  English  I  then  possessed  to  persuade  my  brothers  that 
these  were  onions  such  as  .grown  people  ate,  and  would  be 
very  nice  for  us.  So  we  fell  to  and  devoured  the  whole ; 
and  I  recollect  being  somewhat  disappointed  in  the  odd, 
sweetish  taste,  and  thinking  that  onions  were  not  as  nice  as 
I  had  supposed.  Then  mother's  serene  face  appeared  at  the 
nursery  door,  and  we  all  ran  toward  her,  and  with  one  voice 
began  to  tell  our  discovery  and  achievement.  We  had  found 
this  bag  of  onions,  and  had  eaten  them  all  up. 

'*  Also  I  remember  that  there  was  not  even   a  mo- 


304  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

meDtary  expression  of 'impatience,  but  that  she  sat  down 
and  said, '  My  dear  children,  what  you  have  done  makes 
mamma  very  sorry ;  those  were  not  onion-roots,  bnt  roots 
of  beautifhl  flowers ;  and  if  you  had  let  them  alone,  ma 
"wonld  have  had  next  summer  in  the  garden  great  beauti- 
ful red  and  yellow  flowers  such  as  you  never  saw.'  I  re- 
member how  drooping  and  dispirited  we  all  grew  at  this 
picture,  and  how  sadly  we  regarded  the  empty  paper  bag. 

"  Then  I  have  a  recollection  of  her  reading  to  the  chil- 
dren one  evening  aloud  Miss  Edgeworth's  ^  Frank,'  which 
had  just  come  out,  I  believe,  and  was  exciting  a  good  deal 
of  attention  among  the  educational  circles  of  Litchfield. 
After  that,  I  remember  a  time  when  every  one  said  she  was 
sick ;  when,  if  I  went  into  the  street,  every  one  asked  me 
how  my  mother  was ;  when  I  saw  the  shelves  of  the  closets 
crowded  with  delicacies  which  had  been  sent  in  for  her,  and 
how  I  used  to  be  permitted  to  go  once  a  day  into  her  room, 
where  she  sat  bolstered  up  in  bed,  taking  her  gruel.  I  have 
a  vision  of  a  very  fair  face,  with  a  bright  red  spot  on  each 
cheek,  and  a  quiet  smile  as  she  oflered  me  a  spoonful  of  her 
gruel ;  of  our  dreaming  one  night,  we  little  ones,  that  mam- 
ma had  got  well,  and  waking  in  loud  transports  of  joy,  and 
being  hushed  down  by  some  one  coming  into  the  room. 
Our  dream  was  indeed  a  true  one.  She  was  forever  well ; 
but  they  told  us  she  was  dead,  and  took  us  in  to  see  what 
seemed  so  cold,  and  so  unlike  any  thing  we  had  ever  seen 
or  known  of  her. 

^'  Then  came  the  funeral.  Henry  was  too  little  to  go.  I 
remember  his  golden  curls  and  little  black  frock,  as  he  frol- 
icked like  a  kitten  in  the  sun  in  ignorant  joy. 

'^  I  remember  the  mourning  dresses,  the  tears  of  the  older 
children,  the  walking  to  the  burial-ground,  and  somebody's 
speaking  at  the  grave,  and  the  audible  sobbing  of  the  fam- 


FILIAL  BSCOLLECrriONS.  '         305 

ily ;  and  then  all  was  closed,  and  we  little  ones,  to  whom  it 
was  so  confused,  asked  the  question  where  she  was  gone, 
and  would  she  never  come  back? 

''They  told  us  at  one  time  that  she  had  been  laid  in  the 
ground,  at  another  that  she  had  gone  to  heaven;  where- 
upon Henry,  putting  the  two  things  together,  resolved  to 
dig  through  the  ground  and  go  to  heaven  to  find  her;  for, 
being  discovered  imder  sister  Catharine's  window  one  morn- 
ing digging  with  great  zeal  and  earnestness,  she  caUed  to 
him  to  know  what  he  was  doing,  and,  lifting  his  curly  head 
with  great  simplicity,  he  answered,  'Why,  I'm  going  to 
heaven  to  find  ma.' 

"Although  mother's  bodily  presence  disappeared  from 
our  circle,  I  think  that  her  memory  and  example  had  more 
influence  in  moulding  her  family,  in  deterring  from  evil  and 
exciting  to  good,  than  the  living  presence  of  many  mothers. 
It  was  a  memory  that  met  us  every  where,  for  every  pers'bn 
in  the  town,  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest,  seemed  to  have 
been  so  impressed  by  her  character  and  life  that  they  con- 
stantly reflected  some  portion  of  it  back  upon  us. 

"  Even  our  portly  old  black  washerwoman,  Candace,  who 
came  once  a  week  to  help  off  the  great  family  wash,  would 
draw  us  aside,  and,  with  tears  in  her  eyes,  tell  us  of  the 
saintly  virtues  of  our  mother. 

"  Her  feelings  were  sometimes  expressed  in  a  manner  that 
was  really  touching.  I  recollect  one  time  her  coming  to 
wash  when  the  family  were  assembled  for  prayers  in  the- 
next  room,  and  I  for  some  reason  had  lingered  in  the  kitch- 
en. She  drew  me  toward  her,  and  held  me  quite  still  till 
the  exercises  were  over,  and  then  she  kissed  my  hand,  and 
I  felt  her  tears  drop  upon  it.  There  was  something  about 
her  feeling  that  struck  me  with  awe.  She  scarcely  spoke  a 
word,  but  gave  me  to  understand  that  she  was  paying  that 
homage  to  my  mother's  memory. 


306  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 

^'  The  traditions  th^t  I  heard  from  my  aunts  and  micles 
were  such  as  these :  '  Your  mother  never  spoke^  an  angry 
word  in  her  life.  Your  mother  never  told  a  lie,'  And  in 
Nutplains  and  Guilford,  where  her  early  days  were  passed, 
I  used  to  find  myself  treated  with  a  tenderness  almost 
amounting  to  veneration  by  those  who  had  known  her. 

"  I  recollect,  too,  that  at  first  the  house  was  full  of  litUe 
works  of  ingenuity,  and  taste,  and  skill,  which  had  been 
wrought  by  her  hand — furniture  adorned  with  painting; 
pictures  of  birds  and  flowers,  done  with  minutest  skill; 
fine  embroidery,  with  every  variety  of  lace  and  cobweb 
stitch ;  exquisite  needle-work,  which  has  almost  passed  out 
of  memory  in  our  day-.  I  remember  the  bobbin  and  pillows 
with  which  she  made  black  lace.  Many  little  anecdotes 
were  told  me  among  her  friends  of  her  ceaseless  activity 
and  contrivance  in  these  respects. 

*"  One  thing  in  her  personal  appearance  every  one  spoke 
of,  that  she  never  spoke  in  company  or  before  strangers 
without  blushing.  She  was  of  such  great  natural  sensitive- 
ness and  even  timidity  that,  in  some  respects,  she  never  could 
conform  to  the  standard  of  what  was  expected  of  a  pastor's 
wife.  In  the  weekly  female  prayer-meetings  she  could  nev- 
er lead  the  devotions.  Yet  it  was  not  known  that  any  body 
ever  expressed  criticism  or  censure  on  this  account.  It 
somehow  seemed  to  be  felt  that  her  silent  presence  had 
more  power  than  the  audible  exercises  of  another.  Such 
impression  has  been  given  me  by  those  who  have  spoken  of 
this  peculiarity. 

^^  There  was  one  passage  of  Scripture  always  associated 
with  her  in  our  minds  in  childhood:  it  was  this:  ^Ye  are 
come  unto  Mount  Zion,  the  city  of  the  living  God,  to  the 
heavenly  Jerusalem,  and  to  an  innumerable  company  of  an- 
gels ;  to  the'  general  assembly  and  Church  of  the  first-bom, 
and  to  the  spirits  of  just  men  made  perfect.' 


FILIAL  BSCOLLBCIIONS.  307 

^^  We  all  knew  that  this  was  what  our  father  repeated  to 
her  when  she  was  dyuig,  and  we  often  repeated  it  to  each 
other.  It  was  to  that  we  felt  we  must  attain,  though  we 
scarcely  knew  how:  In  every  scene  of  family  joy  or  sor- 
row, or  when  father  wished  to  make  an  appeal  to*our  hearts 
which  he  knew  we  could  not  resist,  he  spoke  of  mother. 

"  I  remember  still  the  solemn  impression  produced  on  my 
mind  when  I  was  only  about  eight  years  old.  I  had  been 
violently  seized  with  malignant  scarlet  fever,  and  lain  all 
day  insensible,  and  father  was  in  an  agony  of  apprehension 
for  my  life.  I  remember  waking  ttp  just  as  the  beams  of 
the  setting  sun  were  shining  into  the  window,  and  hearing 
his  voice  in  prayer  by  my  bedside,  and  of  his  speaking  of 
*her  blessed  mother  who  is  now  a  saint  in  heaven,'  and 
wondering  in  my  heart  what  that  solemn  appeal  might 
mean.    - 

"  I  think  it  will  be  the  testimony  of  all  her  sons  that  her 
image  stood  between  them  and  the  temptations  of  youth 
as  a  sacred  shield ;  that  the  hope  of  meeting  her  in  heaven 
has  sometimes  been  the  last  strand  which  did  not  part  in 
hours  of  fierce  temptation ;  and  that  the  remembrance  of 
her  holy  life  and  death  was  a  solemn  witness  of  the  truth 
of  religion,  which  repelled  every  assault  of  skepticism,  and 
drew  back  the  soul  from  every  wandering  to  the  faith  in 
which  she  lived  and  died. 

"  The  passage  in  *  Uncle  Tom,'  where  Augustine  St.  Clair 
describes  his  mother's  influence,  is  a  simple  reproduction 
of  this  mother's  influence  as  it  has  always  been  in  her  fam- 
ily. 

"  The  following  lines,  written  by  her  eldest  daughter, 
Catharine,  then  a  girl  of  sixteen,  were  a  tribute  offered  to 
her  memory.  We  knew  them  by  heart  in  our  childhood, 
and  have  often  repeated  them  with  tears. 


308  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

"The  basy  hum  of  day  is  o*er, 
The  scene  is  sweet  and  stiU, 
And  modest  eve,  with  blushes  wann, 
Walks  o*er  the  western  hill. 

*  *  ♦ 

**The  great,  the  good,  the  rich,  the  wise, 
Lie  shrouded  here  in  gloom ; 
And  here  with  aching  heart  I  view 
My  own  dear  mother's  tomb. 

"  Oh,  as  upon  her  peaceful  grave 
I  fix  my  weeping  eyes. 
How  many  fond  remembrances 
In  quick  succession  rise. 

"Far  through  the  vista  of  past  years 
As  memory  can  extend. 
She  walked,  my  counselor  and  guide, 
My  guardian  and  fnend. 

"From  works  of  science  and  of  taste, 

How  richly  stored  her  mind  ; 

And  yet  how  mild  in  all  her  ways, 

How  gentle,  meek,  and  kind. 

*<  Religion's  bless'd  and  heavenly  light 
DIumined  all  her  road ; 
Before  her  house  she  led  the  way 
To  virtue  and  to  God. 

"Like  some  fair  orb,  she  bless'd  my  way 
With  mild  and  heavenly  light, 
Till,  called  from  hence,  the  opening  heav*n 
Received  her  from  my  sight. 

♦  ♦  ♦ 

"Now  left  in  dark  and  dubious  night, 
I  mourn  her  guidance  o'er, 
And  sorrow  that  my  longing  eyes 
Shall  see  her  face  no  more. 


FILIAL  SBOOLLBCnOKS.  309 

"Father  in  heaven,  my  mother's  God, 
Oh  grant  before  thy  seat, 
Among  the  bles^d  sons  of  light, 
Parent  and  child  majr  meet. 

*  *  *  • 

''There  may  I  see  her  smiling  face, 
And  hear  her  gentle  Toice ; 
And,  gladden'd  by  thy  gracious  smile, 
Throngh  endless  years  rejoice." 


CHAPTER  XLVn. 

rlSlT    TO    NUTPLAIMB. 


From  Mrs.  B.  B.  Stow. 
"Dbab  Bbothbb, — AmODg  my  earliest  recollectionB  are 
those  of  a  visit  to  Nutpluns  immediately  after  my  mother's 
death.  Annt  Harriet  Foote,from  vhom  I  was  named,  who 
was  with  mother  daring  all  her  last  rackness,  took  me  home 
to  stay  with  her.  I  can  now  remember,  at  the  close  of 
what  seemed  to  me  a  long  day's  ride,  arriving  after  dark  at 
a  lonely  little  white  farm-honse,  and  being  hronght  into  a 
large  parlor  where  a  oheerfiil  wood  fire  was  cracking,  part- 


VIBrr  TO  NIJTPLAINB.  311 

ly  burned  down  into  great  heavy  coals.  I  was  placed  in 
the  arms  of  an  old  lady,  who  held  me  close  and  wept  silent- 
ly, a  thing  at  which  I  marveled,  for  my  great  loss  was  al- 
ready faded  from  my  childish  mind.  But  I  could  feel  that 
this  dear  old  grandmother  received  me  with  a  heart  full  of 
love  and  sorrow.  I  recall  still  her  bright  white  hair,  the 
benign  and  tender  expression  of  her  venerable  face,  and  the 
great  gold  ring  she  wore,  which  seemed  so  curious  to  my 
childish  eyes.  It  was  her  wedding-ring,  as  she  often  told 
me  afterward.  There  was  a  little  tea-table  -set  out  before 
the  fire,  and  Uncle  George  came  in  from  his  farm-work,  and 
sat  down  with  grandma  and  Aunt  Harriet  to  tea. 

*^  After  supper  I  remember  grandma's  reading  prayers, 
as  was  her  custom,  from  a  great  Prayer-book,  which  was 
her  constant  companion.  To  this  day  certain  portions  of 
the  evening  service  never  recur  to  me  without  bringing  up 
her  venerable  image  and  the  tremulous  tones  of  her  aged 
voice,  which  made  that  service  have  a  different  effect  on  me 
from  any  other  prayers  I  heard  in  early  life. 

"Then  I  remember  being  put  to  bed  by  my  aunt  in  a 
large  room,  on  one  side  of  which  stood  the  bed  appropri- 
ated to  her  and  me,  and  on  the  other  that  of  my  grand- 
mother. The  beds  were  curtained  with  a  printed  India  lin- 
en, which  had  been  brought  home  by  my  seafaring  uncle ; 
and  I  recollect  now  the  almost  awe-struck  delight  with 
which  I  gazed  on  the  strange  mammoth  plants,  with  great 
roots  and  endless  convolutions  of  branches,  in  whose  hol- 
lows appeared  Chinese  summer-houses,  adorned  with  count- 
less bells,  and  perched  jauntily  aloft,  with  sleepy-looking 
mandarins  smoking,  and  a  Chinaman  attendant  just  in  the 
act  of  ringing  some  of  the  bells  with  a  hammer.  Also  here 
and  there  were  birds  bigger  than  the  mandarins,  with  wide- 
open  beaks  just  about  to  seize  strange-looking  insects;^  and 


312  AUTOBIOOBAPHT. 

a  constant  wonder  to  my  mind  was  why  the  man  never 
struck  the  bells,  nor  the  bird  ever  caught  the  insect. 

^^  My  Aunt  Harriet  was  no  conmion  character.  A  more 
energetic  human  being  never  undertook  the  education  of  a 
child.  Her  ideas  of  education  were  those  of  a  vigorous  En- 
glishwoman of  the  old  school.  She  believed  in  the  Church, 
and,  had  she  been  born  under  that  regime,  would  have  be- 
lieved in  the  king  stoutly,  although,  being  of  the  generation 
following  the  Revolution,  she  was  a  not  less  stanch  support- 
er of  the  Declaration  of  Independence. 

^'  According  to  her  views,  little  girls  were  to  be  taught  to 
move  very  gently,  to  speak  softly  and  prettily,  to  say  'yes, 
ma^am'  and  '  no,  ma'am,'  never  to  tear  their  clothes,  to  sew 
and  to  knit  at  regular  hours,  to  go  to  church  on  Sunday 
and  make  all  the  responses,  and  to  come  home  and  be  cate- 
chised. 

"I  remember  those  catechisings,  when  she  used  to  place 
my  little  cousin  Mary  and  myself  bolt  upright  at  her  knee, 
while  black  Dinah,  and  Harvey  the  bound-boy,  were  ranged 
at  a  respectful  distance  behind  us ;  for  Aunt  Harriet  always 
impressed  it  upon  her  servants  '  to  order  themselves  lowly 
and  reverently  to  all  their  betters' — a  portion  of  the  Church 
Catechism  which  always  pleased  me,  particularly  when  ap- 
plied to  them^  as  it  insured  their  calling  me  '  Miss  Harriet,' 
and  treating  me  with  a  degree  of  consideration  which  I 
never  enjoyed  in  the  more  democratic  circle  at  home. 

''  I  became  a  proficient  in  the  Church  Catechism,  and  gave 
my  aunt  great  satisfaction  by  the  old-fashioned  gravity  and 
steadiness  with  which  I  learned  to  repeat  it.. 

''  As  my  father  was  a  Congregational  minister,  I  believe 
Aunt  Harriet,  though  the  highest  of  High-Church  women, 
felt  some  scruples  of  delicacy  as  to  whether  it  was  desirable 
my  religions  education  should  be  entirely  out  of  the  sphere 


VISIT  TO  NUTPLAIN8.  313 

of  my  birth,  and  therefore,  when  the  catechetical  exercise 
was  finished,  and  my  cousin,  who  was  a  lamb  of  the  true 
Church,  dismissed,  she  would  say  to  me, '  Niece,  you  have 
to  learn  another  catechism,  because  your  father  is  a  Presby- 
terian minister,'  and  therefore  would  endeavor  to  make  me 
commit  to  memory  the  Assembly's  Catechism. 

^*  At  this  lengthening  of  exercises  I  secretly  murmured. 
I  was  rather  pleased  at  the  first  question  in  the  Church 
Catechism,  which  is  certainly  quite  level  to  any  child's  ca- 
pacity,* What  is  your  name?'  It  was  such  an  easy,  good 
start;  I  could  say  it  so  loud  and  clear;  and  I  was  accus- 
tomed to  compare  with  it  the  first  question  in  the  Primer, 
*  What  is  the  chief  end  of  man  ?'  as  vastly  more  difficult  for 
me  to  remember.  In  fact,  between  my  aunt's  secret  un- 
belief and  my  own  childish  impatience  of  too  much  cate- 
chism, the  matter  was  indefinitely  postponed  after  a  few  in- 
efiectnal  attempts,  and  I  was  overjoyed  to  hear  her  an- 
nounce privately  to  grandmother  that  she  thought  it  would 
be  time  enough  for  Harriet  to  learn  the  Presbyterian  Cate- 
chism when  she  went  home. 

**In  her  own  private  heart  my  aunt  did  not  consider  my 
father  an  ordained  minister ;  and,  as  she  was  a  woman  who 
always  acted  up  to  her  beliefs,  when  on  a  visit  to  our  fam- 
ily she  would  walk  straight  past  his  meeting-house,  as  she 
always  called  it,  to  the  little  Episcopal  churchy  where  the 
Gospel  was  dispensed  in  what  she  considered  an  orderly 
manner.  It  .was  a  triumph  of  principle,  for  she  was  very 
fond  and  proud  of  father,  and  had  a  lively,  acute  mind  pe- 
culiarly fitted  to  appreciate  his  preaching,  which  she  would 
often  have  been  very  glad  to  hear. 

*'  She  generally  contrived,  in  speaking  of  these  subjects 
before  me,  to  restrain  herself,  and  probably  was  not  aware 
of  the  sharpness  with  which  little  ears  sometimes  attend  to 

O 


814  AUTOKOGBAFHT. 

conversatioiis  which  are  not  meant  for  then^  to  hear,  and 
perhaps  was  entirely  unaware  that  I  pondered  in  my  mind 
a  declaration  I  once  heard  her  make,  that  ^  many  persons  out 
of  the  Episcopal  Church  would  be  saved  at  last,  but  that 
they  were  resting  entirely  on  uneovenarUed  mercy. ^ 

''  Whatever  fears  might  have  been  awakened  on  the  sub- 
ject, however,  were  borne  down  in  after  years  by  my  per- 
fectly triumphant  faith  in  my  father.  Aunt  Harriet  was 
very  well  read  in  history  and  the  English  classics.  She 
possessed  much  wit,  with  more  humor  and  drollery,  and 
took  the  lead  in  the  family  and  in  the  care  of  grandmother 
with  an  efficiency  which  was  brightened  by  the  constant 
play  of  these  fiuiulties. 

(«Her  stock  of  family  tradition  and  of  neighborhood 
legendary  lore  was  wonderful.  Her  young  nieces  and 
nephews  v^ho  visited  her  would  sometimes  be  kept  laugh- 
ing so  constantly  at  table  with  her  wit  and  stories  that  they 
would  call  for  a  truce,  and  request  Aunt  Harriet  to  be  silent 
at  least  long  enough  for  them  to  drink  their  tea.  Of  many 
of  these  sallies  our  placid  old  grandmother  was  the  subject, 
her  benevolence  far  outrunning  her  consciousness  of  old 
age,  and  leading  her  often  to  undertakings  for  her  grand- 
children which  Aunt  Harriet  would  humorously  caricature. 
For  instance :  if  grandma  heard  her  little  granddaughter 
say,  in  a  voice  of  lamentation,  *  Why,  I  have  left  my  thim- 
ble up  stiurs,'  she  would  say,  though  decrepit  with  age, 
*  Well,  little  dear,  never  mind ;  I'll  run  up  and  get  it.* 
'  Such  a  sprightly  lark  as  your  grandmother  is,'  Aunt  Har- 
riet would  observe,  ^  it  is  quite  proper  you  should  all  sit  still 
and  let  her  wait  on  you.' 

'^  I  really  think  grandma  stood  a  little  in  awe  of  Aunt 
Harriet.  Occasionally  she  would  give  me  privately  her 
opinion  of  her  when  die  was  out  of  the  room— opinions  al- 


VISIT  TO  NUTPLAINS.  315 

ways  very  charxning  in  my  eyes,  because  they  took  my  part 
in  every  childish  gnef,  and  in  idl  those  disciplinary  sorrows 
which  Aunt  Harriet  often  thought  the  wisest  expression  of 
love  to  little  girls.  When  I  broke  my  needles,  tore  my 
clothes,  lost  my  thimble,  slipped  out  of  the  house  and  saun- 
tered by  the  river  when  I  should  have  been  sewing,  grand- 
mother was  always  an  accessory  after  the  fact ;  and  when 
she  could  not  save  me  from  condign  punishment,  would 
comfort  me  with  the  private  assurance  that  ^  I  was  a  poor 
child,  and  that  Harriet  needed  punishing  a  great  deal  more 
herself  than  I  did.' 

^^It  is  said  that  such  indulgences  are  dangerous  to  chil- 
dren, but  I  can  not  remember  that  they  ever  did  me  any 
barm.  In  the  main,  I  thought  that  justice  and  right  were 
on  Aunt  Harriet's  side ;  yet  I  loved  grandma  for  the  excess- 
ive tenderness  that  blinded  her  to  all  my  fsiults.  I  did  not 
really  believe  her  sweet  and  comfortable  sayings  to  be  exr 
actly  true ;  I  only  saw  how  much  she  must  love  me  to  be  so 
blind  to  all  my  faults. 

'^  But  grandmother  was  not  by  any  means  a  weak  woman. 
Her  mind  was  active  and  clear;  her  literary  taste  just,  her 
reading  extensive.  My  image  of  her  in  later  years  is  of 
one  always  seated  at  a  great  round  table  covered  with 
books,  among  which  nestled  her  work-basket.  Among 
these,  chiefest,  her  large  Bible  and  Prayer-book;  Lowth's 
Isaiah,  which  she  knew  almost  by  heart ;  Buchanan's  Re- 
searches in  Asia ;  Bishop  Heber's  Life ;  and  Dr.  Johnson's 
Works,  which  were  great  favorites  with  her.  As  her  neph- 
ews and  nieces  grew  older  and  came  to  Nutplains,  it  was 
a  pleasure  to  them  to  sit  at  this  book-table  and  read  to 
that  dear  friend,  who  never  spoke  ,a  harsh  word  to  us,  out 
of  any  of  her  favorite  authors. 

"First  many  chapters  of  the  Bible,  in  which  she  would 


316  AUTOBIOOaAFHT. 

often  interpose  most  graphic  comments,  especially  in  the 
Evangelists,  where  she  seemed  to  have  formed  an  idea  of 
each  of  the  apostles  so  distinct  and  dramatic  that  she  would 
speak  of  them  as  acquaintances.  She  would  always  smile 
indulgently  at  Peter's  remarks.  ^ There  he  is  again,  now; 
that's  just  like  Peter.  He's  always  so  ready  to  put  in !' 
She  was  fond  of  having  us  read  Isaiah  to  her  in  Lowth's 
translation,  of  which  she  had  read  with  interest  all  the  crit- 
ical notes. 

''  Concerning  Dr.  Johnson's  Christian  character,  she  once 
informed  me,  with  some  degree  of  trouble,  that  she  had  had 
a  discussion  with  my  brother  Edward,  and  that  he  thought 
that  President  Edwards  was  a  better  Christian  than  Df. 
Johnson.  '  He  sent  me  his  life  to  read,'  she  said,  *  and  I 
have  read  it,  and  he  was  a  very  good  Christian ;  but,  after 
all,  I  doubt  if  he  could  have  written  better  prayers  than 
these  of  Dr.  Johnson's.  Now  just  hear  this,'  she  wovld 
say,  and  then  she  would  read  prayers  which  that  great 
master  of  English,  that  deep  and  melancholy  nature,  cer- 
tainly made  wonderfully  forcible  and  touching. 

"  Sometimes,  in  later  years,  after  my  brothers  and  I 
were  grown  up,  we,  being  trained  Congregationalists,  would 
raise  with  our  unde  and  with  Aunt  Harriet  the  contro- 

■ 

verted  questions  of  our  respective  faiths,  which  would  be 
mooted  w\tli  great  vim.  Grandma  was  always  secretly  un- 
easy lest  these  controversies  should  lead  to  any  real  disun- 
ion of  feeling. 

**  On  one  occasion,  after  her  hearing  had  become  slight- 
ly impaired,  a  wordy  battle  had  been  raging  round  her 
for  some  time,  which,  as  she  could  not  understand  what 
we  said,  and  as  we  seemed  to  be  getting  more  and  more 
earnest,  moved  her  solicitude  very  deeply.  At  last  she 
called  one  of  my  brothers  to  her,  and  said,  *  There,  now. 


VISIT  TO  NUTPLAINS.  317 

if  you  have  talked  long  enough,  I  want  you  to  read  some- 
thing to  me,'  and  gave  him  that  eloquent  chapter  in  Isaiah 
which  begins,  *  Arise,  shine,  for  thy  light  is  come,  and  the 
glory  of  the  Lord  is  risen  upon  thee ;'  and  goes  on  to  de- 
scribe the  day  when  the  whole  earth  shall  be  full  of  the 
glory  of  the  Lord.  Her  face,  while  he  was  reading,  was 
like  a  transparency,  luminous  with  internal  light.  At  the 
close  she  said,  ^  Bishop  Heber  tells  in  his  memoirs  how,  off 
in  India,  there  were  four  ministers  of  Christ  met  together, 
all  of  different  denominations,  and  they  read  this  chapter  to- 
gether, and  found  then  there  was  one  thing  they  all  agreed 
in  exactly.' 

'^  We  all  looked  at  each  other  and  smiled,  for  we  were 
conscious  that  our  discussion  had  been  in  the  most  perfect 
love  and  good  will. 

'^  Grandma  had  a  great  share  of  wit  and  humor — ^not  the 
trenchant,  sparkling  kind  which  belonged  to  Aunt  Harriet ; 
it  was  rather  of  that  latent  sort,  which  often  colors  the  words 
and  thoughts  with  a  gentle  pleasantry^  and,  where  it  ripples 
into  a  retort,  seems  still  to  have  a  veil  of  quietness  over  it. 
Yet  no  humorous  expression  escaped  her  appreciation ;  and 
of  those  that  abound  in  Shakspeare  she  had  many  stored  in 
her  memory,  which  often  dropped  out  quietly,  apropos  to 
little  events  in  daily  life,  in  a  manner  that  amused  us  greatly. 

^*  One  other  thing  must  be  confessed :  in  her  secret  heart 
gi*andma  was,  and  always  remained,  a  Tory.  In  her  this 
took  no  aggressive  form.  It  was  only  the  clinging  of  a  lov- 
ing and  constant  nature  to  that  which  in  childhood  and 
youth  she  had  learned  to  love  and  venerate.  On  these 
points  she  always  obser\'ed  a  discreet  silence  in  the  family 
circle,  but  made  a  confidante  of  me  in  my  early  childhood. 
When  after  hearing  King  George  abused  roundly  one  day 
by  some  patriotic  American,  she  took  the  first  opportunity 


318  AUTOBIOGSAPHT. 

to  tell  me  privately  that '  she  didn^t  believe  that  the  king 
was  to  blame ;'  and  then  she  opened  her  old  English  Pray- 
er-book, and  read  in  a  trembling  voice  the  old  prayers  for 
the  king,  and  qaeen,  and  all  the  royal  family,  and  told  me 
hovr  it  grieved  her  when  they  stopped  reading  them  in  all 
the  churches.  She  supposed  it  was  all  right,  she  said,  but 
she  couldn't  bear  to  give  it  up ;'  they  might  have  found 
some  other  way  to  settle  it. 

"  When  afterward  I  ventured  to  say  something  to  Aunt 
Harriet  about  it,  she  laughingly  asserted  that  grandma  was 
always  an  old  Tory  among  them.  I  think,  in  the  recollec- 
tions of  all  the  children,  our  hours  spent  at  Nutplains  were 
the  golden  hours  of  our  life.  Aunt  Harriet  had  precisely 
the  turn  which  made  her  treasure  every  scrap  of  a  family 
relic  and  history.  And  even  those  of  the  family  who  had 
passed  away  forever  seemed  still  to  be  living  at  Nutplains, 
BO  did  she  cherish  every  memorial,  and  recall  every  action 
and  word.  There  was  Aunt  Catharine's  embroidery ;  there 
Aunt  Mary's  paintings  and  letters ;  there  the  things  which 
Uncle  Samuel  had  brought  from  foreign  shores :  frankin- 
cense from  Spain,  mats  and  baskets  from  Mogadore,  and 
various  other  trophies  locked  in  drawers,  which  Aunt  Har- 
riet displayed  to  us  on  every  visit. 

"  At  Nutplains  our  mother,  lost  to  us,  seemed  to  live 
again.  We  saw  her  paintings,  her  needle-work,  and  heard 
a  thousand  little  sayings  and  doings  of  her  daily  life.  And 
so  dear  was  every  thing  that  belonged  to  grandmother  and 
our  Nntplidns  home,  that  the  Episcopal  service,  even  though 
not  well  read,  was  always  chosen  during  our  visits  there  in 
preference  to  our  own.  It  seemed  a  part  of  Nntplains  and 
of  the  life  there. 

"There  was  also  an  interesting  and  well-selected  library, 
and  a  portfolio  of  fine  engravings ;  and,  though  the  place 


VISIT  TO  ITOTPLAINS.  310 

was  lonely,  yet  the  cheerful  hospitality  that  reigned  there 
left  them  scarcely  ever  without  agreeable  visitors ;  and  some 
of  the  most  charming  recollections  of  my  childhood  are  of  a 
beautiful  young  lady,  who  used  to  play  at  chess  with  Uncle 
George  when  he  returned  from  his  work  in  the  wood-lot  of 
a  winter  evening. 

*'  The  earliest  poetry  that  I  ever  heard  were  the  ballads 
of  Walter  Scott,  which  Uncle  George  repeated  to  Cousin 
Mary  and  me  the  first  winter  that  I  was  there.  The  story 
of  the  black  and  white  huntsman  made  an  impression  on  me 
that  I  shall  never  forget.  His  mind  was  so  steeped  in  po- 
etical literature  that  he  could  at  any  time  complete  any  pas- 
sage in  Bums  or  Scott  from  memory.  As  for  graver  read- 
ing, there  was  Rees's  Cyclopedia,  in  which  I  suppose  he  had 
read  every  article,  and  which  was  often  taken  down  when  I 
became  old  enough  to  ask  questions,  and  passages  pointed 
out  in  it  for  my  reading. 

^^  All  these  remembrances  may  explain  why  the  lonely  lit- 
tle white  farm-house  under  the  hill  was  such  a  Paradise  to 
us,  and  the  sight  of  its  chimneys  after  a  day's  ride  were  like 
a  vision  of  Eden.  In  later  years,  returning  there,  I  have 
been  surprised  to  find  that  the  hills  around  were  so  bleak 
and  the  land  so  barren ;  that  the  little  stream  near  by  had 
so  few  charms  to  uninitiated  eyes.  To  us,  every  juniper- 
bush,  every  wild  sweetbrier,  every  barren  sandy  hillside, 
every  stony  pasture,  spoke  of  bright  hours  of  love,  when  we 
were  welcomed  back  to  Nutplains  as  to  our  mother's  heart." 


320  'AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 


CHAPTER  XLVm. 

AUNT  ESTHER. 

From  Miss  C,  E.  JBeecher, 

'^Deab  Bbother, — ^The  year  of  our  great  family  sorrow 
brought  forth  also  '  the  peaceable  fruits  of  righteousness.' 
The  first  event  that  followed  the  death  of  our  mother  was 
the  removal  of  Aunt  Esther,  with  her  mother,  to  our  house, 
to  take  charge  of  the  feimily.  What  a  sacrifice  of  personal 
tastes,  ease,  and  comfort  this  was  to  them,  can  be  better  ap- 
preciated if  we  consider  what  was  their  character,  what 
they  gave  up,  and  what  they  undertook  to  do. 

^^  Grandma  Beecher  was  a  fine  specimen  of  the  Puritan 
character  of  the  strictest  pattern.  She  was  naturally  kind, 
generous,  and  sympathizing,  as  has  been  seen  in  her  great 
tenderness  for  animals ;  in  her  wise  and  patient  accommoda- 
tion to  her  husband's  hypochondriac  infirmities;  in  her  gen- 
erous offer  to  give  up  her  little  patrimony  rather  than  have 
father,  her  step-son,  taken  from  college.  Conscience  was 
the  predominating  element  in  her  character.  She  was  strict 
with  herself  and  strict  with  all  around. 

"  Aunt  Esther,  her  only  child,  was  brought  up  under  the 
most  rigid  system  of  rules,  to  which  she  yielded  the  most 
exact  and  scrupulous  obedience;  and  yet,  such  was  her 
mother's  fear  that  one  so  good  and  so  bright  would  *  think 
more  highly  of  herself  than  she  ought  to  think,'  that  the  re- 
sult was  most  depressing  on  the  character  and  happiness 
of  the  daughter.  The  habitual  sense  of  her  own  shortcom- 
ings ;  the  dread  of  any  increase  of  responsibilities ;  the  fear 


AUNT  S8THEB.  321 

of  sinful  failare  in  whatever  she  should  attempt ;  the  quiet 
life  she  had  led  so  many  years  with  grandma  in  the  litfle 
establishment  of  bedroom,  parlor,  and  half  a  kitchen ;  her 
habits  of  extreme  neatness  and  orderr~&ll  these  seemed  to 
forbid  even  the  wish  that  Aunt  Esther  should  be  asked  to 
assume  the  management  of  such  a  household  as  ours. 

^'  But  her  love  and  sympathy  overcame  all  impediments, 
and  very-  soon  grandma's  parlor  opened  from  our  north  en- 
try, her  neat  carpet,  her  bright  brass  andirons,  her  rocking- 
chair,  her  trim,  erect  figure,  with  bright  black  eyes  and 
arched  eyebrows,  all  combining  to  induce  carefulness  and 
quiet  around  the  premises. 

"  Our  mother's  early  training  was  in  the  free  and  easy 
dominions  of  General  Ward,  whUe  Grandma  Foote's  chief 
doctrine  was  that  every  body,  especially  children,  should  do 
every  thing  and  have  every  thing  they  wanted. 

"At  both  Nutplains  and  East  Hampton  the  style  of  house- 
keeping was  of  the  simplest  order,  demanding  little  outlay 
of  time  or  labor  compared  with  more  modem  methods. 
The  style  of  dress  for  children  also  required  very  little  ex- 
pense of  material  or  of  time  in  making.  Our  mother  was 
gifted  with  great  skill  and  celerity  in  all  manner  of  handi- 
craft, and  was  industrious  in  the  use  of  time.  Thus  neither 
mantua-maker,  tailoress,  or  milliner  had  ever  drawn  on  the 
family  treasury. 

"  But  kind,  anxious,  economical  Aunt  Esther  had  no  gift 
in  this  line.  As  a  close  economist,  as  an  accomplished  cook, 
as  systematic,  orderly,  and  neat  in  all  family  arrangements, 
none  could  excel  her,  but  with  scissors  and  needle  she  felt 
helpless  and  less  than  nothing ;  so  that,  although  she  could 
patch  and  dam  respectably,  and  grandma  could  knit  and 
mend  stockings,  the  preparation  of  wardrobes  for  the  eight 
children  rose  before  her  as  a  mountain  of  diMculty.    It  was 

02 


822  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

here  that  &ther*B  good  sense,  quick  discernment,  and  tender 
sympathy  wisely  intervened.  He  gently  and  tenderly  made 
me  understand  the  great  kindness  of  grandma  and  Aunt 
Esther  in  giving  up  their  own  quiet  and  comfort  to  take 
care  of  us ;  he  awakened  my  sympathy  for  Aunt  Esther  in 
her  new  and  difficult  position ;  he  stimulated  my  generous 
ambition  to  supply  my  mother's  place  in  the  care  of  the 
younger  children,  especially  in  the  department  in  which  he 
assured  me  he  knew  I  would  excel,  and  that  was  where 
Aunt  Esther  most  needed  help. 

*'  Happily,  our  mother's  skill  in  household  handicraft  was 
bequeathed  in  some  good  measure  to  her  daughters;  and 
thus  stimulated,  I,  for  the  first  time,  undertook  all  the  labor 
of  cutting,  fitting,  and  making  all  the  clothing  of  the  chil- 
dren, as  well  as  my  own.  So  also,  under  Aunt  Esther's 
careful  training,  Mary  and  I  were  initiated  into  all  the  arts 
of  kitchen  labor,  cheered  and  animated  by  the  conscious- 
ness that  it  comforted  father  and  relieved  Aunt  Esther. 

*'There  are  some  who  control  the  young  in  such  a  way 
as  to  make  them  feel  that  all  they  do  is  nothing  more  than 
what  they  ought  to  do,  and  usually  considerably  less.  Oth- 
ers have  the  happy  faculty,  which  our  father  possessed  in  a 
remarkable  degree,  of  discovering  and  rejoicing  over  unex- 
pected excellence  in  character  and  conduct.  He  not  only 
felt  pleased  and  grateful  when  kindnesses  were  done  to  him 
and  his,  but  he  had  the  gift  of  expression.  He  not  only  dis- 
covered and  appreciated  all  that  was  good  in  character  and 
conduct,  but  he  made  known  his  pleased  approval. 

"  Oil  and  water  were  not  more  opposite  than  the  habits 
of  father  and  Aunt  Esther,  and  yet  they  flowed  along  to- 
gether in  all  the  antagonisms  of  daily  life  without  jar  or 
friction.  All  Aunt  Esther's  rules  and  improvements  were 
admired  and  commended,  and,  though  often  overridden,  the 


AtTNT  S8THBB.  323 

contrite  confession  or  droll  excuse  always  brought  a  forgiv- 
ing smile.  Indeed,  it  was  father's  constant  boast  to  Aunt 
Esther  that,  naturaUy^  he  was  a  man  possessing  great  neat- 
ness, order,  and  system ;  that  the  only  difficulty  was,  they 
were  all  irmde^  and  that  it  was  Aunt  Esther's  special  mis- 
sion to  bring  them  out.  And  he  had  a  triumphant  way  of 
taking  her  around,  whencTer  he  arranged  his  outdoor  im- 
plements or  indoor  surroundings  in  any  respectable  order, 
to  prove  to  her  that  it  was  his  nature  to  be  orderly  and 
careful. 

**In  this  new  administration  the  older  children  were 
brought  in  as  co-laborers,  inspired  by  the  sympathetic, 
grateful,  and  appreciative  sentiments  father  communicated 
to  the  family.  All  the  children  were  in  habits  of  prompt 
obedience,  were  healthful,  cheerful,  and  full  of  activity. 
With  these  busy  workers  around,  and  Aunt  Esther  to  lead, 
every  room,  from  garret  to  cellar,  was  put  in  neat  and  reg- 
ular trim ;  every  basket,  bundle,,box,  and  bag  overhauled, 
and  every  patch,  remnant,  and  shred  laid  out  smooth,  sort- 
ed, and  rolled, folded, or  arranged  in  perfect  order;  all  aged 
garments  were  mended  to  the  last  extremity  of  endurance ; 
pegs  and  hooks  were  put  in  position,  where  coats,  panta- 
loons, jackets,  hats,  caps,  bonnets,  shawls,  and  cloaks  were 
to  conform  to  the  rule,  *  a  place  for  every  thing,  and  every 
thing  in  its  place.'  The  bam,  the  garden,  and  the  orchard 
were  the  only  cities  of  refuge  from  this  inflexible  rule. 

"The  special  object  of  nightmare  dread  to  Aunt  Esther 
was  debt.  The  fear  that  under  her  administration  the  ex- 
penditures would  exceed  the  salary  could  be  relieved  by  no 
possible  calculations ;  and  so  we  learned,  on  every  hand, 
rules  of  the  closest  economy  and  calculation.  We  were 
saved,  however,  from  all  uncomfortable  retrenchments  by 
the  abundance  of  gifts  from  generous  and  sympathizing 


324  AUTOBIOGSAPHT. 

friends  and  parishioners.  So  we  gained  the  benefits  with- 
out the  evils.  But,  in  spite  of  all,  Aunt  Esther  was  burden- 
ed with  ceaseless  anxiety.  The  responsibility  of  providing 
for  the  family,  the  care  of  eight  young  children  as  to  ward- 
robe, health,  and  behavior,  and  the  thousand  and  one  re- 
sponsibilities that  rested  upon  one  so  exact,  so  conscien- 
tious, and  so  self-distrustful,  was  a  burden  too  great  for  her 
to  bear,  and  we  all  felt  anxious  and  troubled  to  see  her  so 
burdened ;  yet  she  rarely  complained,  seldom  found  fault, 
and  never  scolded.  Whenever  any  thing  went  wrong,  or 
the  children  misbehaved,  grandma's  black  eyes  peered  over 
her  specta,cles  like  two  cold  stars,  and  Aunt  Esther  sighed, 
and  looked  discouraged  and  sad. 

"The  experience  of  this  year  of  our  family  history  was 
similar  to  that  of  a  landscape  in  sunshine  suddenly  overcast 
with  heavy  clouds.  The  gentle,  contented,  smiling,  health- 
ful mother  was  gone,  and  the  sunlight  of  our  home  departed 
with  her  to  return  no  more. 

"  In  noticing  the  many  alleviating  blessings  of  this  period 
of  sorrow,  one  may  be  noticed  as  presenting  a  cheering 
feature  of  the  pastoral  relation  in  the  universal  and  tender 
sympathy  of  the  parish,  manifested  in  many  ways.  Our 
mother  was  but  little  known  by  personal  acquaintance  in 
the  parish ;  but  her  reputation  as  a  woman  of  talent  and 
culture,  her  diligent  devotion  to  her  numerous  family,  the 
sweet  and  modest  expression  of  her  countenance  in  church, 
and  the  gentle  blush  that  always  appeared  whenever  she 
was  addressed,  awakened  a  universal  and  tender  interest, 
and  her  untimely  death  called  forth  unexpected  and  uni- 
versal sorrow  and  sympathy.  This  was  manifested  in  many 
kindnesses  offered,  especially  in  an  influx  of  presents  and 
offers  of  aid  from  all  classes.  The  family  were  provided 
with  complete  suits  of  mourning  as  gifls  from  one  friend  or 


AUirr  BSTHBR.  825 

another^  while  almost  daily  some  token  of  kindness  and  sym 
pathy  arrived. 

^'The  most  remarkable  and  uniqae  of  these  demonstra- 
tions was  what  in  New  England  is  called  the  minister's 
toood-speHy  when,  by  previous  notice,  on  some  bright  winter 
day,  every  person  in  the  parish  who  chooses  to  do  so  sends 
a  sled  load  of  wood  as  a  present  to  the  pastor.  On  this  oo- 
casion  we  were  previously  notified  that  the  accustomed 
treat  of  dough-nuts  and  loaf-cake,  cider  and  flip,  must  be  on 
a  much  larger  scale  than  common. 

^^  With  father's  rejoicing  approval,  I  was  allowed  to  take 
both  the  responsibility  and  the  labor  of  this  whole  occasion, 
with  Aunt  Esther  as  my  guide,  and  the  younger  children 
as  my  helpers,  and  for  nearly  a  week  our  kitchen  was  bu^y 
as  an  ant-hill.  For  preliminaries,  the  fat  was  to  be  prepared 
to  boil  the  dpugh-nuts,  the  spices  to  be  pounded,  the  sugar 
to  be  rolled,  the  flour  to  be  sifted,  and  the  materials  for  beer 
for  the  flip  to  be  collected.  Next  came  the  brewing,  on  a 
scale  of  grandeur  befitting  the  occasion.  Then  the  cake  was 
duly  made,  and  placed  in  large  stone  pots  or  earthen  jars 
set  around  the  kitchen  fire,  and  duly  turned  and  tended  till 
the  proper  lightness  was  detected.  Lastly  came  the  bak- 
ing of  the  loaves  and  the  boiling  of  the  dough-nuts;  and 
were  I  to  tell  the  number  of  loaves  I  put  into  and  took  out 
of  the  oven,  and  the  bushels  of  dough-nuts  I  boiled  over  the 
kitchen  fire,  I  fear  my  credit  for  veracity  would  bo  endan- 
gered. Certainly  our  kitchen,  store-room,  and  pantry  were 
a  sight  to  behold,  calling  in  admiring  visitors,  while  my  suc- 
cess was  the  matter  of  universal  gratulation. 

"  When  the  auspicious  day  arrived,  the  snow  was  thick, 
smooth,  and  well  packed  for  the  occf&sion ;  the  sun  shone 
through  a  sharp,  dry,  and  frosty  air ;  and  the  whole  town 
was  astir.    Toward  the  middle  of  the  afternoon,  runners 


826  AirrOBIOGBAPHT. 

arrived  with  news  of  the  gathering  squadrons — ^Mount  Tom 
was  coming  with  all  its  farmers ;  Bradley ville  also ;  Chest- 
nut Hill,  and  the  North  and  the  South  settlements ;  while 
the  "  town  hill"  gentry  were  on  the  qtti  vive  to  liunt  up  ev- 
ery sled  and  yoke  of  oxen  not  employed  by  their  owners. 
Before  sundown  the  yard,  street,  and  the  lower  rooms  of 
our  house  were  swarming  with  cheerful  faces.  Father  was 
ready  with  his  cordial  greetings,  adroit  in  detecting  and  ad- 
miring the  special  merits  of  every  load  as  it  arrived.  The 
kind  farmers  wanted  to  see  all  the  children,  and  we  were 
busy  as  bees  in  waiting  on  them.  The  boys  heated  the  flip- 
irons,  and  passed  around  the  cider  and  flip,  while  Aunt 
Esther  and  the  daughters  were  as  busy  in  serving  the 
dough-nuts,  cake,  and  cheese.  And  such  a  mountainous 
wood-pile  as  arose  in  our  yard  never  before  was  seen  in 
ministerial  domains! 

^^  It  needed  all  these  alleviations,  and  more  also,  to  sustain 
father  under  the  heavy  pressure  that  rested  on  his  spirits. 
He  rarely  spoke  of  the  loss  that  wrung  his  brave,  yet  faint- 
ing heart,  that  strove  to  keep  up  strength  and  courage  by 
counting  its  blessings  instead  of  its  pains.  But  years  after, 
one  day,  pointing  to  a  large  basket,  he  said,  ^  Henry,  there 
are  the  sermons  I  wrote  the  year  after  your  mother  died, 
and  there  is  not  one  of  them  good  for  any  thing  I' 

*^  Never  do  the  reverses  of  life  so  unman  the  soul  as  on 
the  festivals  that  bring  together  a  family  after  its  golden  cir- 
cle is  broken.  At  the  first  Thanksgiving  Day  after  mother 
died  we  assembled  round  the  table,  all  dressed  in  our  newly- 
finished  suits,  the  house  all  in  perfect  order,  our  store-room 
filled  with  abundance  of  presents,  our  table  loaded  with  the 
nicest  specimens  of  culinary  skill.  When  all  were  in  order, 
and  father  was  to  *  ask  the  blessing,'  we  waited  long  in  si- 
lence, while  the  great  tears  stole  down  his  cheeks  amid  the 


Axnsrr  estheb.  327 

sighs  and  tears  of  all  around.  Then  followed,  in  a  calm, 
subdued  yoice,  such  an  offering  of  patient,  peaceful  thank- 
fulness and  love,  as  if  the  gentle  spirit  we  mourned  was 
near,  shedding  peace  and  comfort  from  her  wings." 


828  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 


CHAPTER  XLIX. 

REMINISCENCES   OP   DR.  DWIGHT. 

Autobiography — cordimied. 

About  this  time  Dr.  Dwight  died.*  He  had  trusted 
much  in  a  strong  constitution,  and  had  struggled  along,  suf- 
fering greatly  with  cancer  internal.  Once  before  he  had 
thought  he  must  die,  and,  in  prospect  of  death,  reviewed 
his  whole  career.  He  recovered,  however,  and  afterward 
preached  a  sermon,  in  which,  among  other  things,  he  warned 
young  men  against  ambition,  acknowledging  that  it  had 
been  his  great  failing;  but  he  had  come  back  from  the 
grave,  he  said,  with  new  light.  My  heart  leaped,  for  I  knew 
that  that  was  his  easily  besetting  sin. 

His  influence  was  extensive  and  beneficent  beyond  that 
of  any  other  man  in  New  England ;  indeed,  his  enemies  call- 
ed him  "old  Pope  Dwight,"  and  it  was  natural  he  should 
be  tempted  in  that  direction.  Whenever  he  came,  to  my 
house,  the  family  thought  it  a  privilege  to  gather  round  him 
to  listen  to  his  conversation.  We  sat  round,  and  he  talked. 
A  question  now  and  then  would  be  asked,  but  nobody  ever 
thought  of  talking  much,  only  of  hearing.  He  loved  to  talk, 
and  we  loved  to  listen.  Whenever  I  wanted  advice,  I  went 
to  him  as  to  a  father,  and  told  him  every  thing. 

Whenever  I  was  at  New  Haven  I  always  went  to  see 
him.  I  went  because  I  wanted  to  see  him ;  I  did  pot  sus- 
pect that  he  wanted  to  see  roe.  But  I  discovered  his  at- 
tachment more  manifestly  later,  for  if  I  failed  to  come  he 

•  Jaonnry  11,1817. 


REHINISCBNCB8  OF  DB.  DWIGHT.  320 

« 

noticed  it.  I  saw  how  he  was  doing,  looking  forward  and 
resting  on  the  rising  generation ;  the  old  was  gone  off  the 
stage.  He  had  presentiments  of  me;  saw  in  my  preaching 
what  I  did  not,  and  leaned  on  me.  He  did  not  tell  me  di- 
rectly how  he  regarded  me,  bnt  showed  it  indirectly.  On 
one  occasion,  when  I  preached  at  New  Haven,  he  let  drop 
some  things  as  if  he  thought  that,  in  some  respects,  I  preach- 
ed better  than  he  did.  I  had  never  had  the  least  suspicion 
of  such  an  idea  till  he  suggested  it  at  that  time.  But  I  sup- 
pose it  was  so  as  to  making  applications.  My  strength  lay 
in  putting  things,  in  driving;  but  (with  a  sigh)  I  could 
preach  better  if  I  was  to  live  twenty  years  longer^  and  had 
health  and  strength  / 

In  one  of  my  last  interviews  with  Dr.  D wight,  he  said  he 
had  been  trying  to  get  up  a  religious  and  literary  magazine, 
but  was  about  discouraged,  and  thought  the  project  must 
fail.  "Why,  doctor,"  said  I, "there  is  no  doubt  it  can  be 
done.  Just  take  your  pen  and  jot  down  the  names  of  the 
good  writers  there  are  in  New  Haven,  in  Hartford,  and  else- 
where,  and  can  not  we  support  a  magazine  ?"  And  I  count- 
ed up  some  forty  or  fifty  or  more  excellent  contributors. 
This  led  to  a  few  of  us,  Taylor,  Tyler,  Harvey,  and  I,  and 
some  others,  writing  a  series  of  tracts,  some  half  dozen  or 
so,  on  existing  questions.  Several  were  prepared  and  pub- 
lished ;  among  others,  Tyler  wrote  a  pungent  thing  on  Epis- 
copalianism.  In  about  two  years  after  Dr.  iFwight's  death 
we  got  up  the  Christian  Spectator,  which  went  nobly  when 
it  did  go. 

I  remember  the  last  time  I  ever  saw  Dr.  Dwight  living. 
There  was  a  time  when  a  question  came  up  among  u»  about 
the  doings  of  unregenerate  men.  Taylor  and  I  pushed  for 
immediate  repentance.  I  didn't  go  quite  so  far  as  Taylor. 
Instead  of  using  means  of  gra^^y  reading,  prayer,  etc.,  we 


830  AUTOBIOaiELkPHT. 

drove  them  up  to  instant  Biibniisnon.  Dr.  Dwight,  how- 
ever, felt  as  thoragh  there  might  be  some  nse  of  means.  So, 
though  Taylor  was  his  amanuensis,  there  arose  a  kind  of 
feeling  between  them  and  among  the  students,  and  Dr. 
Dwight  felt  a  grief  as  though  it  had  produced  some  cold- 
ness. 

Well,  we  had  been  at  some  public  meeting  together,  and 
Dr.  Dwight  stopped  on  the  way  home  at  Litchfield.  It  was 
the  night  of  a  great  snow-storm — such  a  storm  as  that  was! 
I  went  down  to  spend  the  evening  with  him  at  Judge 
Beeve's,  and  had  as  much  as  I  could  do  to  keep  the  path. 
The  wind  scattered  the  trees,  and  left  traces  of  the  wreck 
along  the  road  for  years. 

I  told  the  doctdr  in  the  course  of  the  evening  I  should 
like  to  converse  with  him  a  little  on  that  subject,  and  that 
I  believed  we  did  not  diSer  so  much  as  he  thought  He 
said  he  was  about  revising  his  sermons,  and,  when  done,  he 
would  read  me  his  views  on  the  point.  But  I  knew  that 
if  I  talked  he  would  talk,  so  I  drew  him  out.  I  said  I  be- 
lieved so  and  so,  and  he  agreed;  and  so  and  so,  and  he 
agreed ;  and  so  I  went  on  to  the  end.  "  Now,  doctor,"  said 
I,  *'  I  told  you  so.  The  only  difference  between  you  and 
Taylor  is,  that,  if  called  to  direct  an  awakened  sinner,  you 
would  give  him  a  larger  dose  of  means  than  Taylor,  and 
Taylor  a  larger  dose  of  repentance."  He  agreed  to  it.  It 
has  been  a  comforting  thing  to  me  ever  since  that  I  had  that 
opportunity.  We  then  talked  fi'eely  at  our  ease.  It  was 
the  last  time  I  ever  saw  him. 

C.E.B.  "The  news  of  Dr.  D wight's  death  was  brought 
to  father  in  the  pulpit  when  near  the  dose  of  the  Sabbath 
services.  I  was  present  at  the  time.  A  man  came  in^sud- 
denly,  and  went  up  into  the  pulpit  and  whispered  to  him. 
Father  turned  from  the  messenger  to  the  congregation,  and 


BBMINISOXNCRB  OF  DB.  DWIGHT.  881 

said,  ^Dr.  D wight  is  gone!'  Then,  raising  bis  hands,  he 
said,  with  a  burst  of  tears,  as  if  he  beheld  the  translation, 
*•  My  father !  my  father !  the  chariots  of  Israel  and  the 
horsemen  thereof!'  The  congregation,  with  an  electric  im- 
pulse, rose  to  their  feet,  and  many  eyes  were  bathed  in 
tears.  It  was  one  of  the  most  impressive  scenes  I  ever  wit- 
nessed." 


882  AUTOBIOaSAPHT. 


CHAPTER  L. 

COBBESPONDENCE,  181 6-1 7, 

Hev.  Nathanid  Hewitt  to  Dr.  Beecher. 

'*  Plattsborg,  New  York,  Angiut  2, 1816. 

"My  deab  Sib, — ^The  doctrines  of  free  agency  and  sin- 
ners' immediate  duty  to  repent  do  wonders  among  my  peo- 
ple. I  preach  them  publicly  and  privately.  I  have  no  fear. 
My  congregation,  the  first  Sabbath  I  preached  after  I  got 
home,  stared  as  if  I  was  crazy — '  I  am  not  mad,  most  noble 
Festus !' 

"  God  has  enabled  me  to  yindicate  them  against  all  oppo- 
sition. The  Church  is  wide  awake,  and  sinners  too.  There 
is  a  revival  in  one  part  of  the  town.  I  visit  there  every 
week.  I  pursue  your  mode  of  talking ;  it  succeeds  admira- 
bly. Awakened  persons  obtain  hope  very  soon,  and  they 
come  out  bright  and  solid. 

"Fifteen  persons  have  obtained  hope  in  one  quarter  of 
this  town,  and  thirteen  more  are  awakened.  The  work  goes 
on.  The  work  of  conviction  has  commenced  in  the  village. 
My  praying  people  are  awake,  and  much  encouraged.  God 
gives  me  courage ;  I  have  not  the  least  particle  of  fear. 

"  Week  before  last  I  had  a  visit  from  Rev.  Mr.  Armstrong 
Lewis,  Essex  County.  He  is  a  fine  fellow.  He  understands 
the  points  right  down  well.  A  very  laborious  servant  of 
Christ. 

tc  ♦  ♦  ♦  jfy  iiealth  is  tolerable.  I  have  more  to  do 
than  I  can  accomplish.  I  have  written  two  sermons  on 
agency.  You  would  like  them,  I  know.  How  I  should  re- 
joice were  you  here.    I  hope  to  see  you  next  fall." 


COBSESPONDENCS,  1816-17.  333 

Catharine  to  Harriet  JFbote. 

"Fcbrnaiy  1,1817. 

'^  Deab  Attnt, — ^The  family  are  in  good  health  as  usual. 
We  have  three  boarders.  We  have  done  all  our  winter's 
sewing  and  knitting,  and  have  as  much  leisure  as  we  could 
desire. 

"  Edward  still  continues  at  South  Farms.  William  is  in 
Mr.  Collinses  store,  but  boards  at  home.  Mary  goes  to  school 
to  Miss  Pierce,  and  George  to  Miss  Collins.  Henry  is  a 
very  good  boy,  and  we  think  him  a  remarkably  interesting 
child,  and  he  grows  dearer  to  us  every  day.  He  is  very  af- 
fectionate, and  seems  to  love  his  father  with  all  his  heart. 
His  constant  prattle  is  a  great  amusement  to  us  all.  He 
often  speaks  of  his  sister  Harriet,  and  wishes  spring  would 
come,  so  that  she  might  come  home  and  go  to  school  with 
him.  Charles  is  as  fat  as  ever,  though  he  is  much  less 
trouble,  and  can  take  more  care  of  himself.  He  can  speak 
a  few  words  to  express  his  wants,  but  does  not  begin  to 
talk.  Eliza  Barnes,  that  lived  at  Mrs.  Reeve's,  and  took 
care  of  Charles,  died  a  few  weeks  ago." 

Mr.  Beecher  to  Mrs,  Tomlinson. 

"  March,  1817. 

"  Dear  Friend, — ^The  funds  of  our  school  are  all  in  the 
hands  of  the  pubHc  as  yet.  Our  Constitution  and  Address  is 
not  yet  printed,  nor  our  agents  in  the  field.  We  have  twen- 
ty young  men  to  patronise  for  the  ministry — as  many,  per- 
haps, as  we  can  take  care  of;  but  there  are  funds  at  Ando- 
ver,  at  Phillips's  Academy,  for  such  cases.    I  hope  you  will 

not  fail  to  send there  soon,  and  I  will  give  him  a  letter 

of  introduction.    He  must  not  be  abandoned,  but  in  some 
way  fitted  for  college,  and  qualified  to  preach.    Fatherless 


834  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

children  of  piety  and  talents  have  a  doable  claim  npon  the 
treasury  of  the  Lord  Jesus^  and  their  draft  must  never  be 
protested. 

*'  Concerning  your  Church  and  its  trials,  I  hang  my  hopes 
on  this  text :  ^  Destroy  it  not,  for  a  blessing  is  in  it.'  It  is 
spoken  concerning  the  Jews  in  their  dispersed  and  appar- 
ently hopeless  state,  and  is  applicable  to  particular  churches, 
which  are  in  reality  churches  of  the  living  God,  and,  aware 
of  the  promise,  trust  in  Him  and  do  their  duty.  From  your 
little  band  of  praying  men  and  women  I  expect  more  than 
from  your  heterogeneous  part,  whom  discipline,  and  doc- 
trine, and  covetousness  have  scattered.  '  Fear  not,  little 
flock.'  From  the  time  that  your  enemies  have  begun  to  tri- 
umph, thinking  the  witnesses  to  be  slain,  I  have  dated  my 
hopes  of  a  spiritual  resurrection.    *    ♦    * 

^'  Oh,  Roxana  was  ^  a  sweet  and  gentle  spirit,'  and  doubt- 
less '  would  not  be  here  again.'  Her  evidences  and  conso- 
lations were  most  glorious.  If  a  scene  could  ever  extort 
the  exclamation  from  a  wicked  man,  ^  Let  me  die  the  death 
of  the  righteous!'  it  was  such  a  one  as  her  sickness  and 
death. 

^'  My  children  are  well,  and,  under  the  guidance  of  their 
Aunt  Esther,  are  as  well  taken  care  of  as  they  could  be  by 
their  mother,  and  I  have  all  in  her  that  can  be,  to  render  me 
comfortable  in  my  present  lonely  state.  But  there  is  a  sen- 
sation of  loss  which  nothing  alleviates — a  solitude  ^hich  no 
society  interrupts.  Amid  the  smiles  and  prattle  of  children, 
and  the  kindness  of  sympathizing  friends,  I  am  alone;  fioxr 
ana  is  not  here.  She  partakes  in  none  of  my  joys,  and  bears, 
with  me  none  of  my  soitows.  I  do  not  murmur ;  I  only  ieel 
daily,  constantly,  and  with  deepening  impression,  how  much 
I  have  had  for  which  to  be  thankful,  and  how  much  I  have 
lost."    ♦    ♦    ♦ 


COBBESPONDISNCB,  1816-17.  335 

To  Dr.  Taylor. 

<«Litchaeld,  March  4, 17. 

*'  DsAB  Bbothsb^ — ^I  write,  not  because  I  have  any  thing 
to  say,  bat  just  to  tease  you  until  you  will  write  to  me.  In- 
deed, I  have  had  thoughts  of  proposing  to  you  a  regular 
correspondence,  since  we  see  each  other  so  seldom,  and  have, 
in  the  mean  time,  so  many  stagnant  ideas,  which  our  mental 
concussions,  like  flint  and  steeli  would  put  in  motion. 

*'  If  you  should  object  want  of  time,  do  you  not  know  that, 
if  you  gained  no  ideas  from  me,  you  would  be  at  least  stim- 
ulated to  think  as  much  faster  as  would  make  up  lost  time  ? 
and  if,  perchance,  I  should  communicate  occasionally  some 
intellectual  gift,  why  that  would  be  clear  gain.  And  then, 
in  my  solitude,  how  much  comfort  I  should  derive  from  talk- 
ing often  with  you,  and  how  much  intellectual  acumen,  upon 
the  same  principle  that  iron  sharpeneth  iron ;  and  how  much 
would  the  pubUo  also  be  obliged  to  us  for  doing  up  their 
work  for  them,  as  we  have  done  so  often  in  conversation, 
for  which,  as  yet,  though,  we  have  received  no  thanks;  but 
we  must  condescend  to  labor  for  the  evil  and  unthankful. 

*^  We  are  to  have  a  tract-making  meeting  at  my  house  the 
last  Tuesday  in  April,  of  which  I  now  give  you  due  notice. 
You  are  an  honorary  honorable  member,  and  are  requested 
to  come  with  a  doctrinal  tract  in  your  pocket,  without  fail, 
as  all  other  gentlemen  members  are  bound  in  conscience  and 
in  constitution  to  do. 

^'  Why  have  you  not  written  any  thing  in  answer  to  alll 
said  to  you  about  Yale  College  ?  Do  you  think  my  zeal  can 
bum  all  alone  without  foreign  aliment? 

*'  I  want  to  hear  from  you  about  Raynor's  book,  and  what 
you  are  about  to  do.  Can  you  answer  it,  or  is  it  unanswer- 
able for  lack  of  any  thing  to  be  answered  ?    I  am  possessed 


336  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

of  direct  positive  evidence  that  the  MS.  was  sent  to  the 
bishop,  and  that  he  «ent  it  back  and  prononnced  it  a  com- 
plete answer.    The  man  who  saw  the  bishop's  letter  told  me. 

"  I  have  many  things  I  want  to  confer  with  you  about 
that  I  can  not  write,  and  must  mature  by  my  own  reflection 
until  I  can  see  you. 

/'It  is  a  time  of  uncommon  stupidity  among  my  people; 
times  are  hard  and  taxes  heavy,  and  some  of  them  groan, 
being  burdened.  I  wish  we  had  a  little  fund ;  it  would 
lighten  my  labor  and  increase  our  security  very  much. 

"  Has  Dr.  Porter  been  notified  of  his  appointment  ?  And 
has  any  answer  been  received  ? 

"  If  you  knew  how  much  pleasure  it  would  give  me,  and 
how  much  alleviate  this  solitude,  you  would,  from  your  own 
abundant  benevolence,  write  me  a  long,  sagacious  letter,  full 
of  excellent  things,  which  I  shall  expect  you  will  not  fail  to 
do  when  Cornelius  returns. 

*' With  undiminished  and  rather  growing  affection,!  am 
yours  and  your  dear  wife's  about  equally. 

The  Same. 

"Litclifield,Aprill8,'17. 

"Dbae  Bbothsb, — ^How  do  you  do  in  these  days  of  Tol- 
eration ?  Have  you  concluded  to  avail  yourself  of  the  lib- 
erty to  display  the  courage  of  thinking  for  yousself?  Yea, 
of  writing  and  publishing  also  ?  I  regretted,  after  I  saw 
you,  that  I  did  not  inquire  whether  good  Mr.  Lines  would 
not  accept  of  a  little  help  in  forming  his  pamphlet  so  as  to 
make  it  a  sufficient  reply.    Could  not  the  thing  be  done  ? 

''  I  am  more  and  more  convinced  that  we  must  attack  and 
defend  by  tracts.  These  are  anonymous,  and  call  no  names ; 
cheap,  and  easily  multiplied ;  short,  and  easily  read ;  plsun, 
and  easily  understood;  numerous,  and  capable  of  being 


COBBBSPONPENGB,  1816-17.  837 

spread  every  where ;  and  as  to  answering  them,  of  that  there 
would  be  no  end  should  it  be  attempted,  and  less  irritation, 
for  it  is  tract  against  tract,  and  not  Taylor  v«.Hobart  &  Co., 
and  Hobart  A  Co.*  vs.  Taylor. 

^^  These  would  not  supersede  the  necessity  of  your  book, 
but  they  would  avoid  the  evils  of  a  protracted  pamphlet 
war,  so  apt  to  excite  asperity  in  the  combatants  and  among 
their  respective  denominations,  a  chief  object  of  which  is  to 
correct  each  other's  misstatements,  and  show  how  unfiurly 
the  dispute  has  been  conducted. 

<«  Brother  Nettleton  must  be  made  to  form  a  tract  upon 
the  validity  of  a  Presbyterian  ordination.  Brother  Tyler  is 
forming  one  already  on  their  views  of  baptism;  and  in  this 
way  the  peculiarities  of  Episcopalians  and  Methodists  must 
be  met,  and  their  misrepresentations  rectified. 

*^  Great  books  as  our  main  dependence  will  not  do.  The 
enemy  is  every  where,  and  the  defense  must  be  as  omnipres* 
ent  as  the  attack. 

**  My  health  is  better  than  when  I  was  at  your  house,  and 
is  still  gaiping,  though  the  clouds  are  not  all  dispelled  from 
my  mind ;  and  the  darkness  of  our  political  horizon,  as  con- 
nected with  our  religion  and  institutions,  adds  at  times  to 
the  melancholy  hue  of  things. 

*'  But,  on  the  whole,  I  have  concluded  to  give  up  the  ship, 
not  to  enemies  who  have  determined  to  take  it,  but  to  Christ, 
who,  I  doubt  not,  will  save  it  from  being  buried  in  the  waves, 
and  from  being  boarded  iind  borne  away  in  triumph  l>y  the 
wicked.  He  can  steer  on  steadily  and  safely  between  Scyl* 
la  and  Charybdis,  amid  howling  winds  and  foaming  waves. 
Only  let  us  trust  in  Him  and  do  our  duty,  and  we  shall  be 
preserved.  ^ 

^*  But,  oh  that  I  could  know  in  all  cases  what  the  Lord 

*  Befezence  is  here  made  to  oontrorenies  with  the  Episoopalianf. 

P 


338  ATJTOBIOGRAPHT. 

would  have  me  do,  then  methinks  I  should  be  fearless  and 
cheerfal.  Then  I  would  actj  though  ienemies  raged  and  timid 
friends  cautioned.  But  this  perplexity  as  to  what  is  dtUy 
torments  me  more  than  all  other  things.  I  trusty  however, 
that  our  way  will  be  made  plain. 

^'  I  wish  a  certain  number  of  ministers  from  different  parts 
of  the  state  could  spend  together  three  of  four  days  to  pray 
and  investigate  duty,  and  form  plans  for  general  and  sys- 
tematic action.  The  assailants  are  bold  and  active,  and  we 
must  be  bold  and  active  in  meeting  them. 

«'  Nothing  has  been  done  yet,  but  the  more  remains  to  be 
done.  Now  I  have  written  this  letter  partly  because  I 
wanted  to  say  a  few  things  to  you,  but  chiefly  because  I 
wish  to  hear  from  you  by  a  long  letter.    Please  to  write 

« 

somewhat  more  than  a  page  and  a  half,  and  let  me  have 
your  best  thoughts.  N.B. — ^I  am  preparing  a  sermon  for  the 
press,  a  wonderfully  good  one,  which  you  must  see  before  it 
is  printed." 

CcUharine  to  Harriet  JSbote, 

"June  2cl,  1817. 

"  Papa  has  been  trying  to  find  time  to  go  to  Guilford,  but 
his  time  is  so  fully  employed  that  he  has  to  toll  hard  to  ob-. 
tain  a  moment's  leisure.    Grandma  Beecher  is  quite  unwell; 
her  lungs  are  affected. 

*'  The  children  are  all  well.  Charles,  as  fat  as  ever,  meets 
with  many  bumps,  bruises,  burns,  etc.  ^He  ofltimes  falleth 
into  the  fire ;'  has  been  burned  twice  very  badly^  Henry  is 
very  impatient  for  sister  Harriet  to  come,  that  he  may  go  to 
school." 


C0BBE8F0NDENCX,  1816*17.  839 

Mr.  JBeecher  to  Hev.  Gardiner  Spring. 

«» Litchfield,  1817. 

"  I  have  received  your  letter  of  the  llTth,  and  have  read  it 
carefully  three  times,  and  have  spread  it  before  the  Lord  and 
prayed  over  it.  I  shall  attempt  in  this  letter  a  simple  state- 
ment of  the  thoughts  and  feelings  it  has  occasioned. 

^'In  the  first  place,  I  enter  with  all  the  strength  of  which 
my  soul  is  capable  into  your  views  and  feelings  as  to  the  im- 
portance of  the  present  crisis,  and  have  for  some  time  felt  a 
sort  of  agony  of  impatience  that  something  should  be  done 
to  counteract  what  I  believed  to  be  an  attempt  to  organize  a 
system  of  warfare,  not  by  argument,  but  by  passion  and  prej- 
udice, through  the  medium  of  ecclesiastical  judicatories. 

^'  It  is  but  late,  however,  since  I  have  believed  that  the 
movers  of  this  war,  I  may  say  the  generals,  are  as  hostile  to 
revivals  of  religion  as  they  are  to  those  doctrines  by  which 
God  produces  them.  But  we  must  be  careful  not  to  identi- 
fy those  ministers  whom  they  deceive,  and  those  good  peo- 
ple within  their  influence,  by  such  an  open  and  indiscriminate 
charge.  Our  duty  as  well  as  policy  is  explanation  and  self> 
defense,  expostulation  and  conciliatiAi.  They  must  be  the 
persecutors,  we  the  persecuted ;  and  in  that  case  the  result 
is  not  doubtful. 

"  I  believe  fully  that  we  are  no  longer  to  trust  Providence, 
and  expect  that  God  will  vindicate  His  cause  while  we  neg- 
lect the  use  of  appropriate  means.  God  never  has  in  this 
manner  vindicated  His  cause ;  He  never  will ;  and  if  such 
exertions  are  made  as  the  exigency  demands  and  we  are 
able  to  make,  I  have  not  a  doubt  that  what  has  happened 
and  shall  happen  will  be  for  the  furtherance  of  the  Gospel ; 
and  on  this  subject  I  can  emphatically  adopt  the  language 
of  the  Psalmist,  *•  O  that  the  salvation  of  Israel  were  come  out 
of  Zion  1'    It  is  high  time  to  awake ! 


340  ▲vTOBioa&APHr. 

*'  I  believe  the  establishment  of  a  magazine  to  be  one  im- 
portant and  indispensable  part  of  the  system  of  self-defense 
and  counteracting  influence ;  and,  so  far  as  I  know  myself, 
my  inclination,  taste,  and  talents  would  be  gratified  and  ex- 
erted in  conducting  such  a  publication,  with  as  much  pleas- 
ure to  myself  and  as  much  usefulness  to  my  generation  as  in 
any  station  or  employment  which  I  may  be  in  the  same  de- 
gree qualified  to  fill.  I  do  not  say  this  without  a  deep  sense 
of  the  great  difficulty  of  performing  the  duties  of  such  a  sta- 
tion, and  of  my  own  Insufficiei^cy ;  but,  merely  comparing 
myself  with  myselj^  I  am  of  opinion  that  I  might  be  as  use- 
fully employed  as  in  any  other  manner. 

♦        ♦        ♦        « 

*'  By  this  time  you  begin  to  conclude,  I  suppose,  that 
your  hopes  are  to  be  realized  and  your  prayers  answered. 
*What,'  you  will  say,  *can  hinder  your  coming  to  New 
York  ?'  Your  question  brings  me  to  state  now  my  thoughts 
on  the  other  side. 

"  It  will  be  extremely  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  for  me  to 
leave  this  people  without  seriously  injuring  them,  and  my 
own  character,  and  the  cause  generally  in  Connecticut  and . 
New  England.  Removals  are  not  as  easily  effected  for 
greater  usefulness  in  New  England  as  in  the  Presbyterian 
Church.  We  just  make  out  to  command  presidents  of  col- 
leges and  professors  of  divinity,  and  that  is  all;  and  though 
the  station  in  New  York  may  be  as  important  as  any  other 
station,  it  will  be  impossible  to  make  common  people,  and^ 
perhaps,  to  make  even  ministers  see  and  understand  its  im- 
portance in  the  light  that  we  do.  It  is  extremely  doubtM 
whether  this  Consociation  would  dismiss  me,  or,  if  I  could 
bring  them  to  it,  whether  they  would  not,  in  fact,  injure 
themselves  and  the  cause. 

*'  I  do  not  see  how  you  will  be  able  to  secure  to  me  a  sup- 
|>ort  of  such  competence  and  permanence  as  would  justify 


COBBBSPOKBSNCB,  1816-17.  841 

me  in  breaking  up,  with  such  a  family  as  I  bave,  my  present 
establishment.  If  your  resources  are  to  depend  on  success 
and  profits  of  the  Magazine,7Aa^  is  a  matter  of  experiment 
which  a  young  man  without  a  family  might  safely  make,  but 
which  I  could  not  make  without  a  degree  of  rashness  which 
would  affect  my  reputation  as  a  man  of  sound  mind,  who 
provides  for  his  own  household  and  will  not  deny  the  faith. 
Besides,  my  people  have,  the  past  year,  advanced  $1740, 
contracted  in  building  a  part  of  a  house  in  dependence 
upon  funds  which  the  war  swept  away.  This  money,  should 
I  leave  them,  I  shall  certainly  refund,  for  conscience'  sake ; 
and  yet  such  is  the  state  of  things  here,  that  my  whole  es- 
tablishment, worth,  perhaps,  $8000,  would  scarcely  command 
$1700.  I  should  need  the  advance  of  $1700  to  prevent  the 
sacrifice  of  $3000 — ^a  sacrifice  which  I  should  not  think  it  my 
duty  to  make. 

^  On  the  whole,  if  I  could  be  secured  of  a  competent  sup- 
port for  ten  years  to  come,  and  could  be  justified  by  the  opin- 
ion and  advice  of  my  brethren  of  the  clergy  and  some  dis- 
tinguished laymen  in  this  state  whom  I  should  think  it  my 
duty  to  consult,  and  could  be  dismissed  from  my  people  con- 
sistently with  their  safety  and  without  too  great  a  sacrifice 
of  property,  and  could  be  ascertained  of  the  cordial  co-oper- 
ation of  my  brethren  in  your  vicinity  and  of  all  generally  of 
their  sentiments  in  the  Presbyterian  Church,  I  should  be 
much  disposed  to  come  and  do  what  I  can.  In  short,  if  I 
was  fairly  at  liberty,  and  you  could  make  my  support  decure, 
I  should  not  hesitate ;  I  would  come  to  live  and  die  with  yon. 

*'But,  in  my  opinion,  the  block  lies  in  the  threshold.  It 
can  not  be  a  matter  of  even  deliberation,  on  the  precarious 
ground  of  Magazine  support,  though  I  do  believe  we  should 
make  one  that  would  amply  support  itself.  But  JT  would 
not  run  the  risk.  If  you  can  make  that  point  secure,  you 
have  accomplished  one  half  the  difficulty."    ♦    ♦    * 


842  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 


CHAPTER  LI. 

DOWXPAIX  OF  THE   STANDING   OBDEB. 

AiUobioffraphy — corUimied, 

The  efforts  we  made  to  execute  the  laws  and  secure  a 
reformation  of  morals  reached  the  men  of  piety,  and  waked 
up  the  energies  of  the  whole  state,  so  far  as  the  members  of 
our  churches,  and  the  intelligent  and  moral  portion  of  our 
congregations  were  concerned.  These,  however,  proved  to 
be  a  minority  of  the  suffrage  of  the  state.  Originally  all 
were  obliged  to  support  the  standing  order.  Every  body 
paid  without  kicking.  I  remember  once  Uncle  Stephen  Ben- 
ton, a  cross-grained  sort  of  man,  for  some  reason  or  other 
refused  to  pay,  and  they  levied  on  his  heifer  and  sold  her. 

When,  however,  other  denominations  began  to  rise,  and 
complained  of  tbair  consciences,  the  laws  were  modified. 
There  never  was  a  more  noble  regard  to  the  rights  of  con- 
science than  was  shown  in  Connecticut.  Never  was  there 
a  body  of  men  that  held  the  whole  power  that  yielded  to 
the  rights  of  conscience  more  honorably. 

The  habit  of  legislation  from  the  beginning  had  been  to 
favor  the  Congregational  order  and  provide  fpr  it.  Congre- 
gationalism was  the  established  religion.  All  others  were 
dissenters,  and  complained  of  favoritism.  The  ambitious 
minority  early  began  to  make  use  of  the  minor  sects  on  the 
ground  of  invidious  distinctions,  thus  making  them  restive. 
So  the  democracy,  as  it  rose,  included  nearly  all  the  minor 
sects,  besides  the  Sabbath-breakers,  rum-selling  tippling  folk, 
infidels,  and  ruff-scuff  generally,  and  made  a  dead  set  at  us 
of  the  standing  order. 


DOWNFALL  07  TB£  BTAKDING  OBDEB.  843 

It  was  a  loDg  time,  however,  before  they  could  accom- 
plish any  thing,  so  small  were  the  sects  and  so  united  the 
Federal  phalanx.  After  defeat  upon  defeat,  and  while  other 
state  delegations  in  Congress  divided;  ours,  for  twenty  years 
a  unit,  Pierrepont  Edwards,  a  leader  of  the  Democrats,  ex- 
claimed, ^' As  well  attempt  to  revolutionize  the  kingdom  of 
heaven  as  the  State  of  Connecticut !" 

But  throwing  Tread  well  over  in  1811  broke  the  charm 
and  divided  the  party;  persons  of  third-rate  ability,  on  our 
side,  who  wanted  to  be  somebody,  deserted ;  all  the  infidels 
in  the  state  had  long  been  leading  on  that  side;  the  minor 
sects  had  swollen,  and  complained  of  having  to  get  a  certifi- 
cate to  pay  their  tax  where  they  liked ;  our  efibrts  to  enforce 
reformation  of  morals  by  law  made  us  unpopular;  they  at- 
tacked the  clergy  unceasingly,  and  myself  in  particular,  in 
season  and  out  of  season,  with  all  sorts  of  misrepresentation, 
ridicule,  and  abuse ;  and,  finally,  the  Episcopalians,  who  had 
always  been  stanch  Federalists,  were  disappointed  of  an  ap- 
propriation for  the  Bishop's  Fund,  which  they  asked  for,  and 
went  over  to  the  Democrats. 

That  overset  us.*  They  slung  us  out  like  a  stone  from  a 
sling. 

*  "  It  finally  began  to  be  whispered  tbat  some  one  of  the  denomina- 
tions called  Dissenters  mnst  be  conciliated,  or  the  Federal  party  would  be 
orerbome  at  last  by  the  concerted  action  of  those  who  were  opposed  to 
the  Ck)ngregational  form  of  religion.  When  the  charter  of  the  Fhceniz 
Bank  was  asked  for,  it  was  therefore  suggested  that  the  $50,000  bonus 
which  was  to  be  sequestered  from  its  large  capital  for  public  uses  should 
be  divided  between  Yale  College  and  the  Bishop's  Fund,  and  petitions 
were  circulated  to  that  effect  among  the  people.  Some  of  the  Federalists 
thought  it  desirable  to  conciliate  the  Episcopalians,  who  now  numbered 
some  of  the  first  men  in  the  state. 

.  ''The  bank  was  chartered,  and  $20,000  of  the  bonus  was  bestowed 
upon  Yale  College ;  but,  from  some  cause,  the  Bishop's  Fund  did  not  get 


344  ▲UTOBIOOKAFHY. 

H.  B.  S.  '^  I  remember  that  time.  John  P.  Brace  came  up 
to  our  house  on  the  day  of  the  election,  and  mother  asked 
him  how  it  had  gone.  '  Oh,'  said  he,  ^  the  Democrats  have 
beaten  us  all  to  piece»!'  and  a  perfect  wail  arose." 

C.  E.  B.  ''  I  remember  seeing  father,  the  day  after  the  elec- 
tion, sitting  on  one  of  the  old-fashioned,  rush-bottomed  kitch- 
en chairs,  his  head  drooping  on  his  breast,  and  his  arms 
hanging  down.  *  Father,'  said  I,  'what  are  you  thinking 
of?'    He  answered,  solemnly, '  The  Chubch  of  Qod.'  " 

It  was  a  time  of  great  depression  and  suffering.  It  was 
the  worst  attack  I  ever  met  in  my  life,  except  that  which 
Wilson  made.  I  worked  as  hard  as  mortal  man  could, 
and  at  the  same  time  preached  for  revivals  with  all  my 
might,  and  with  success,  till  at  last,  what  with  domestic  af- 
flictions and  all,  my  health  and  spirits  began  to  fiedl.  It  was 
as  dar](  a  ^bj  as  ever  I  saw.  The  odium  thrown  upon  the 
ministry  was  inconceivable.  The  injury  done  to  the  cause 
of  Christ,  as  we  then  supposed,  was  irreparable.  For  sev- 
eral days  I  suffered  what  no  tongue  can  teliybr  the  best  thing 
that  ever  happened  to  the  State  of  Connecticut.  It  cut  the 
churches  loose  from  dependence  on  state  support.  It  threw 
them  wholly  on  their  own  resources  and  on  God. 

They  say  ministers  have  lost  their  influence ;  the  fact  is, 
they  have  gained.  By  voluntary  efforts,  societies,  missions, 
and  revivals,  they  exert  a  deeper  influence  than  ever  they 
could  by  queues,  and  shoe-buckles,  and  cocked  hats,  and  gold- 
headed  canes.*    It  was  right  in  the  middle  of  that  darkest 

1 
the  portion  anticipated  for  it  by  its  friendB.  This  was  a  serere  disappoint- 
ment to  tbe  denomination  interested  in  that  fund.  The  Episcopalians 
now  airayed  themselves  against  the  party  in  power  with  all  the  appliances 
that  they  conid  bring  to  bear  npon  an  opponent.'* — Hoixistbb,  ii.,  p.  61  iS. 
*  ''The  great  aim  of  the  Christian  Chnrch  in  its  relation  to  the  pres- 
ent life  is  not  only  to  renew  the  indiyidaal  man,  but  also  to  reform  hnmaa 


D0W17FALL  OF  THE  STAin>IKG  ORDEB.  345 

time  that  I  was  invited  to  preach  a  sermon  before  a  society 
in  Kew  Haven  for  the  relief  of  the  poor.  It  was  through 
Mary  Hillhouse's  influence.  She  moved  Taylor  and  Good- 
society.  That  it  may  do  this  it  needs  fall  and  free  scope.  The  Protest- 
antism of  the  Old  World  is  still  fettered  by  the  union  of  the  Charch  with 
the  State.  Only  in  the  United  States  of  America  has  the  experiment  been 
tried  of  applying  Christianity  directly  to  man  and  to  society  withont  the 
intervention  of  the  state. 

"  Accordingly  the  history  of  the  Church  in  this  country  is  difficult  to 
grasp  in  its  principles  and  bearings.  Some  of  the  peculiarities  of  this  his- 
tory are  the  following :  1.  It  is  not  the  history  of  the  conversion  of  a  new 
people,  but  of  the  transplantation  of  old  races  already  Christianized  to  a 
new  theatre  comparatively  untrammeled  by  institutions  and  traditions. 
2.  Independence  of  the  civil  power.  8.  The  voluntary  principle  applied 
to  the  support  of  religious  institutions.  4.  Moral  and  ecclesiastical,  but 
not  civil  power,  the  means  of  retaining  the  members  of  any  communion. 
5.  Development  of  the  Christian  system  in  its  practical  and  moral  as- 
pects rather  than  in  its  theoretical  and  theological.  6.  Stricter  discipline 
in  the  churches  than  is  practicable  when  Charch  and  State  are  one.  7. 
Increase  of  the  churches,  to  a  considerable  extent,  through  beyivalb  of 
BELioioN  rather  than  by  the  natural  growth  of  the  children  in  an  estab- 
lishment. 8.  Excessive  multiplication  of  sects,  and  divisions  on  questions 
of  moral  reform. "— H.  B.  Smith,  D.D.,  Tables  of  Chttrch  History, 

The  most  remarkable  exhibition  of  most  of  these  peculiarities  is  to  be 
found  in  the  history  of  Connecticut  during  the  period  of  Dr.  Beecher's 
Litchfield  ministry ;  and  one  of  the  most  remarkable  phases  of  his  whole 
career  is  that  in  which  we  see  him,  on  the  one  hand,  making  Herculean 
efforts  to  uphold  the  system  of  Church  and  State,  and,  on  the  other,  lay- 
ishing  almost  superhuman  energies  in  laying  the  foundations  of  the  vol- 
untary system.  His  favorite  comparison  for  the  old  standing  order  was  a 
ship.  Its  fate  reminds  ys  of  FauVs  description:  ''And  falling  into  a 
place  where  two  seas  met,  they  ran  the  ship  aground ;  and  the  fore  part 
stuck  fast,  but  the  hinder  part  was  broken  with  the  violence  of  the  waves. 
But  the  centurion  *  *  *  commanded  that  they  which  could  swim 
should  cast  themselves  first  into  the  sea  and  get  to  land ;  and  the  rest, 
some  on  boards,  and  some  on  broken  pieces  of  the  ship ;  and  so  it  came  to 
pass  that  they  escaped  all  safe  to  land." 

P2 


346  AUTOBIOOHAPHT. 

rich  to  have  me  invited.  It  was  for  the  parpoee  of  provid- 
iDg  me  a  etimulns,  and  afibrdiog  me  an  opportunity  of  show- 
ing myself,  in  the  midst  of  all  attacks,  before  the  community 
where  I  was  so  slandered ;  for  there  was  a  tremendous  and 
deliberate  effort  made  to  put  me  doTrn. 

The  fact  is,  there  was  a  considerable  period  in  which  the 
Congregational  ministers  agreed  to  bold  back  and  keep  si- 
lent till  the  storm  blew  over.  Writing  this  address  was  my 
first  token  of  rallying  with  new  vigor.  Cornelius  was  study- 
ing with  rae  then,  and  knew  the  object  Mary  Hillbonse  had 
in  view,  and  watched  me  writing,  and  I  read  it  to  him  as  I 
went  along.  He  wrote  to  her  that  the  thing  was  going  well, 
and  that  I  should  do  grandly.  When  I  went  to  deliver  it 
there  was  a  full  house,  and  at  first  there  was  some  sneering 
and  hissing ;  but  the  majority  gave  attention,  and  they  soon 
became  still  and  attentive,  and  I  preached  as  I  used  to 
preach.    It  answered  the  end  for  which  it  was  intended. 

£ielract^om  Addrea». 

"  The  first  way  of  doing  good  to  the  poor,  aside  from  sup- 
plying their  immediate  necessities,  is  by  executing  the  laws. 

"  It  appears,  from  the  report  of  the  committee  of  the 
Moral  Society  in  Portland,  that  out  of  85  persons  now  sup- 
ported in  the  work-house  in  that  town,  71  became  paupers 
in  consequence  of  intemperance,  and  that  out  of  118  who 
are  supplied  at  their  own  bouses,  more  than  one  half  are  of 
the  same  character.  The  expense  of  supporting  the  victims 
of  intemperance  the  past  year  was  about  (4000,  and  if  the 
expense  has  bcoTi  in  the  same  proportion  through  the  state, 
it  amounts  to  ^1<H%000;  and  were  it  extended  to  the  United 
States,  to  $4,000,000,  Now  the  laws,  wo  know,  can  be  nei- 
ther omniecicut  nor  omnipotent;  but  if  the  laws  of  this 
state  respecting  the  Sabbath,  the  education  of  children,  the 


DOWNFALL  OF  THB  BTAin)INO   OBDSB.  347 

vending  of  ardent  spirits,  and  the  intemperate  use  of  tbem, 
were  carefnilj  exeonted,  it  would  prevent  at  least  three 
foarths  of  the  crime,  and  poverty,  and  expense.  The  thor- 
ough execution  of  the  law  would  be  in  Portland  at  least  a 
charity  to  the  poor  of  $3000  annually. 

'^  If  the  guardians  of  the  public  morals  in  this  city  will  be 
vigilant  and  efficient  in  the  execution  of  the  laws,  it  will 
save  not  merely  three  fourths  of  the  expense  of  supporting 
the  poor,  it  will  stop  the  contamination  of  vice,  give  plenty 
and  health  to  those  who  would  otherwise  be  victims  of  dis- 
ease, and,  instead  of  supporting  broken-hearted  widows  and 
orphan  children,  would  prolong  the  lives  of  kind  and  indus- 
trious parents.  If  this  be  not  done,  you  shall  indeed  have 
the  poor  with  you  always. 

'^  We  need  also  the  addition  to  our  system  of  work-houses 
to  facilitate ,the  execution  of  the  laws,  and  render  their  pen- 
alties  effectual.  Pecuniary  fines  are  not  of  sufficient  efficacy, 
and  temporary  imprisonment  will  have  only  a  temporary 
effect.  There  are  in  all  oup  towns  and  cities  men  able  to 
labor,  men  who  spend  most  of  their  time  in  idleness,  who 
contribute  little,  if  any  thing,  for  the  support  of  their  fam- 
ilies, and  devote  their  earnings  to  procure  the  means  of  in- 
ebriation. 

"These  men  ought  to  be  taken  by  the  strong  hand  of 
law  to  the  toork-house,  and  made  to  earn  their  own  eup- 
portj  and  to  aid  in  the  support  of  their  families.  The  state 
and  all  its  officers  are  bound  to  help  that  host  of  afflicted 
wives  and  mothers  who  are  cursed  with  worse  than  widow- 
hood, and  whose  children  are  worse  than  fatherless.  The 
absence  of  their  tormentors  would  give  them  peace  at  home, 
and  their  coerced  earnings  would  render  them  comforta- 
ble.   ♦    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

"  But  if  there  be  in  any  comer  of  this  assembly  a  narrow 


848  AUTOBIOOBAPHT. 

heart,  a  cold  head,  balancing  all  the  while  the  loss  and  gain 
of  charity,  and  meditating  exooses  for  not  giving  if  with- 
holding should  prove  the  better  speculation,  to  such  a  one 
I  would  say,  throw  in  your  money,  for  you  can  not  save  it  if 
you  try.  The  poor  will  be  with  you  always,  and  if  ypu  do 
not  educate  them,  and  stop  the  contagion  of  vice,  ihey  will 
swarm  in  your  streets,  and  prowl  about  your  dwellings,  and 
pilfer  from  you  ten  times  the  amount  you  would  need  to 
give  to  render  them  useful  and  happy. 

*^  Nay,  the  tax-gatherer  will  knock  at  your  door,  and  by 
force  of  law  wrench  from  your  clenched  hand  ten  times  the 
pittance  required  to  support  the  virtuous  poor.  As  good 
habits  prevail  the  tax  and  charity  will  decline,  but  as  vice 
prevails  you  will  be  compelled  to  pay  more  and  more  annu- 
ally, as  the  contagion  spreads,  to  support  wretchedness,  and 
to  help  on  the  wicked  in  their  hard  way  to  hell.  Give, 
then,  if  thou  hast  no  bowels  of  compassion,  upon  principles 
of  covetousness.  In  self-defense,  give  a  pittance  to  promote 
industry  and  virtue.    *    *    *    ♦ 

'^I  stand  before  you,  my  brethren,  to-night  to  plead  the 
cause  of  all  the  broken-hearted,  and  desolate,  and  destitute 
in  the  city.  I  plead  the  cause  of  unborn  generations.  I 
plead  that  you  would  stop  the  stream  of  vice  and  woe,  and 
put  in  motion  the  waters  of  the  river  of  life.  Nay,  it  may 
be  that  I  am  pleading  the  cause  this  moment  of  some  of  the 
dear  partners  of  your  bosom,  who  are  soon  to  be  widows, 
and  of  the  sweet  pledges  of  your  love,  who  are  soon  to  be 
&therless  and  destitute. 

'^Say  not  my  mountain  stands  strong,  for  what  is  your 
life?  Say  not  I  have  property  enough  to  make  them  com- 
fortable, for  who  does  not  know  that  riches  make  to  them- 
selves wings  and  fly  away  ?  What  security  have  you  that 
your  wealth  shall  descend?    Who  can  command  the  fire 


DOWKFALL  OF. THE  ffTAJSCDISQ  OBDEB.  840 

that  it  shall  not  devour?  the  waves  that  they  shall  not  over- 
whelm? and  who  can  stop  the  revolving  wheel  of  Provi- 
dence, that  brings  kings  and  princes  to  the  dust,  and  exalt- 
eth  the  beggar  from  the  dmighill?  Brethren,  you  have 
nothing  for  your  fiunilies  which  God  himself  has  not  pro- 
vided, and  he  has  promised  absolutely  to  keep  nothing  for 
your  widows  and  fatherless  but  your  charities.  Lay  up  foiy 
them,  then,  a  good  foundation,  for  what  you  give  to  the 
poor  you  lend  to  the  Lord,  and  he  will  repay  it  again  when 
the  cry  of  your  distressed  descendants  shall  enter  his  ears.'' 


350  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 


CHAPTER  ML 

THE  BIBLE  A  CODE   OF  LAWS. 

The  history  of  the  sermon  mentioned  in  the  title,  one  of 
the  most  important  Dr.  Beecher  ever  wrote,  was  thus  nar- 
rated by  himself: 
\  "  From  the  time  Unitarianism  began  to  show  itself  in  this 

country,  it  was  as  fire  in  my  bones.    I  watched  it,  even  at 
/  East  Hampton,  and  read  every  thing  that  appeared  on  the 

subject. 

''The  defection  existed  before  it  was  avowed.  The  min- 
ister of  King's  Chapel  was  the  first  that  broached  it.  None 
else  dared.  Nor  did  they  preach  it.  They  used  orthodox 
terms  for  a  spell,  ceasing  to  urge  awakening  truth,  and  left 
the  old  to  die  out,  and  the  young  to  grow  up  Unitarians. 

"  Dr.  Morse,  of  Charlestown,  was  one  of  the  first  to  make 
an  outcry  when  a  Unitarian  was  chosen  Theological  Pro- 
fessor at  Harvard  on  a  foundation  laid  by  orthodox  money. 
That  made  a  wave.  Dr.  Worcester  denounced  the  practice 
of  exchanges  with  Unitarians.  That  took.  Then  Channing 
came  forward,  and  preached  his  famous  sermon  at  Balti- 
more.   He  was  their  idol. 

''My  farewell  sermon  at  East  Hampton  had  led  me  to 
give  an  outline  of  a  theological  system.  In  Litchfield  I  re- 
wrote and  enlarged  it,  and  preached  it  in  Boston.*  I  had 
watched  the  whole  progress  of  the  Unitarian  controversy, 
and  read  with  eagerness  every  thing  that  came  out  on  the 

*  At  the  ordination  of  Sereno  £.  Dwight  as  pastor  of  Park  Street 
Charch,  September  S,  1S17. 


THS  BIBLE  A  CODB  OF  LAWS.  351 

sabject.  My  mind  had  been  heating,  heating,  heating.   Now 
I  had  a  chance  to  strike. 

"It  was  the  first  time  I  had  ever  been  in  Boston.  The 
sermon  w^  long,  but  clear.  I  was  not  afraid,  but  took  sight 
and  struck  on  all  the  points.  The  Unitarians  were  out. 
The  interest  grew  to  the  last  as  blow  after  blow  hit  every 
nail  on  the  head. 

"  Come  to  go  out,  the  old  men  were  all  in  a  glorification 
talking  and  chatting.    Went  to  their  dining-place,  and  there 

old  Dr. ,  not  given  to  praising,  let  out.    You  see 

there  had  been  no  such  attack  on  IJnitarianism,  explaining 

our  doctrines  so  that  they  could  stand.    The  sensation  all  / 

over  the  city  was  great.    It  was  a  perfect  victory." 

Extract  from  Sermon. 

ADDBB88    TO    THB    PASTOB. 

"My  dbab  Brother, — With  the  consequences  of  unfaith- 
fulness in  view,  you  are  about  to  take  the  pastoral  care  of 
this  church  and  congregation.  Their  salvation,  according 
to  the  laws  of  the  human  mind,  and  the  constituted  mode 
of  divine  operation,  is  to  be  promoted  or  hindered  by  the 
instructions  which  you  give,  and  the  pastoral  duties  which 
you  perform  or  neglect.  But  be  not  dismayed.  The  re- 
ward of  fidelity  is  as  glorious  as  the  punishment  of  treach- 
ery is  dreadful ;  and  with  the  Bible  in  your  hand,  and  Jesus 
Christ  with  you  always,  you  are  thoroughly  furnished,  and 
can  do  all  things.  Your  duty  is  plain.  It  is  to  explain  and 
enforce  the  laws  of  the  divine  moral  government  contained 
in  the  Bible.  Receive,  then,  my  brother,  that  holy  book 
with  implicit  confidence,  as  including  your  commission  and 
all  you  have  to  say.  Read  it  daily  as  a  part  of  your  devo- 
tion, and  study  it  as  a  part  of  your  profession.  But  re- 
member that  yours  is  the  office  of  an  expositor  of  that  di- 


352  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

vine  book,  and  not  of  a  le^lator,  to  revise  and  modify  its 
sacred  pages.  Be  not  wise  in  your  own  conceit,  and  dare 
'not  to  be  wise  above  what  is  written.  Bring  to  your  aid, 
for  the  exposition  of  the  Scriptures,  the  resources  of  human 
learning ;  but  bring  with  these  a  heart  humbled  with  a  sense 
of  its  own  deceitfulness  and  depravity,  and  filled  with  strong 
desires,  and  groanings  that  can  not  be  uttered,  for  the  illu- 
mination and  guidance  of  the  Spirit,  remembering  that  ig- 
norance and  unsanctified  knowledge  alike  puff  up  and  sub- 
ject to  condemnation. 

''That  you  may  understand  the  Scriptures,  examine  them 
for  yourself.  Receive  no  opinions  upon  trust,  and  allow  no 
man  to  dictate  what  you  shall  believe.  But  do  not  use  this 
your  liberty  as  a  cloak  for  rejecting  the  truth,  and  adopting 
licentious  opinions.  Dare  to  think  for  yourself;  and  what 
you  think,  dare  to  preachy  knowing  that  divine  wisdom  has 
revealed  no  superfluous  truths,  and  that  all  Scripture  is 
profitable. 

"  Dare  to  think  for  yourself;  but  do  not  imagine  that  iur 
dependence  can  compensate  for  indolence,  or  ignorance,  or 
heresy,  or  hatred  of  the  truth ;  or  that,  to  be  independent, 
you  must,  of  course,  despise  antiquity,  and  differ  from  the 
vast  majority  of  the  wise,  and  great,  said  good. 

''Dare  to  think  for  yourself.  Let  no  creed  bind  you  be- 
cause it  is  i;eputed  orthodox,  until  you  perceive  its  agree- 
ment with  the  Scriptures ;  but  then,  though  every  where 
spoken  against,  adopt  it;  remembering  that  the  Bible  may 
be  epitomized  and  its  meaning  retained,  and  your  reverence 
for  creeds  be  only  reverence  for  the  Bible. 

"  Dare  to  think  for  yourself;  and  do  not  imagine  that  the 
faithful  avowal  of  truths  to  which  the  hearts  of  men  are  op- 
posed demands  less  courage  than  the  promulgation  of  errors 
grateful  to  the  feelings  of  human  depravity. 


THS  BIBLB  A  CODE  OF  LAWS.  353 

"Dare  to  think  for  yourself;  bat  give  to  others  the  same 
liberty ;  and  never  raise  the  pusillanimous  cry  of  intoler- 
ance because  others  will  not  think  your  opinions  to  be 
harmless,  or  as  correct  and  salutary  as  their  own. 

"Explain  to  your  people,  the  moral  law,  as  demanding 
love  to  God  with  all  the  heart ;  and  their  entire  depravity, 
as  destitute  of  his  holy  love ;  and  their  danger,  as  exposed 
justly  to  eternal  punishment.  Explain  to  them  the  nature 
of  repentance,  as  the  sorrow  for  sin  which  is  inspired  by  love 
to  God ;  and  the  nature  of  faith,  as  that  confidence  in  the 
Savior  which  is  the  result  of  holy  love.    *    ♦    * 

"Admit  no  excuse  for  impenitence,  and  no  plea  in  miti- 
gation of  guilt ;  no  decree  of  God  as  having  any  influence 
to  constrain  them  to  sin,  or  render  immediate  repentance 
impossible ;  no  doctrine  of  election  or  reprobation  as  ex- 
cluding them  from  heaven  against  their  wills,  and  driving 
them  reluctantly  to  hell;  no  doctrine  of  total  depravity,  as 
destroying  free  agency,  and  rendering  transgression  invol* 
untary  and  unavoidable;  no  doctrine  of  regeneration  by  the 
special  agency  of  the  Holy  Spirit  as  implying  any  inability  in 
the  sinner  to  love,  and  repent,  and  believe,  which  does  not 
consist  wholly  in  his  refusal  to  obey  the  Most  High.    *   *   * 

"  But,  my  brother,  whatever  may  be  your  attainments  in 
human  science,  your  might  in  the  Scriptures,  your  popular- 
ity as  a  preacher,  or  your  estimation  in  the  affections  of 
your  people,  let  it  all  be  counted  loss  in  comparison  with* 
their  actual  conversion  to  God.  Set  your  heart  upon  the 
great  blessing  of  a  revival  of  religion.  Desire  it  speedily 
and  constantly.  Pray  for  it  without  ceasing,  and  stir  up 
the  members  of  your  church  to  concentrate  on  this  point 
the  whole  importunity  of  the  prayer  of  faith.  And  live, 
and  preach,  and  pray,  and  act  in  such  a  manner  as  shall  lay 
the  best  foundation  to  expect  the  blessing.'' 


354  AXJTOBIOGBAPHY. 


CHAPTER  Lffl. 

HABBIET    PORTER. 

During  this  visit  Dr.  Beecher  became  acquainted  with 
Miss  Harriet  Porter,  of  Portland,  Maine,  then  spending  a 
few  days  in  Boston  with  her  sister,  Mrs.  Homes. 

Her  father,  Aaron  Porter,  the  son  of  a  sabstantial  &rmeF 
in  Bozford,  Massachusetts,  was  one  of  the  most  successful 
medical  practitioners  of  his  time,  a  man  of  rare  worth  and 
extensive  general  information.  Dr.  Porter  married  Paulina, 
a  daughter  of  Hon.  Richard  King,  of  Scarborough,  Maine. 
Mrs.  Porter's  eldest  sister  was  married  to  Hon.  Robert  South- 
gate,  grandfather  of  the  present  bishop  of  that  name.  Of 
her  brothers,  Richard  occupied  the  old  homestead.  William 
was  the  first  governor  of  the  state.  Cyrus  was  a  member 
of  Congress,  where  his  speeches  ranked  among  the  finest 
specimens  of  Parliamentary  oratory.  .  Rufus  was  a  member 
of  the  Continental  Congress,  and  first  proposed  the  cele- 
brated ordinance  of  1707  prohibiting  slavery  in  the  great 
Northwest. 

He  was  also  a  member  of  the  United  States  Constitutional 
Convention ;  for  four  successive  terms  United  States  Sena- 
tor from  New  York ;  and  twice  appointed  minister  to  Great 
Britain.  The  circle,  therefore,  in  which  Miss  Porter  moved, 
both  from  its  distinguished  family  connections  and  her  Ci- 
ther's professional  celebrity,  was  one  of  peculiar  elevation 
and  refinement. 

Of  Miss  Porter  herself,  in  her  earlier  years,  we  are  fa- 
vored with  the  recollections  of  one  who  knew  her  intimately, 


•  HABBIET  PORTEB.  3i$5 

and  was  by  marriage  conneoted  with  the  family — Dr.  Lord, 
of  Dartmouth  College. 

"  Harriet  Porter  was  a  cousin  and  intimate  friend  of  my 
wife,  and  belonged  to  a  constellation  somewhat  luminous  in 
Maine  fifty  years  ago.  Her  mother  was  one  of  four  sisters 
of  the  late  Rufus,  William,  and  Cyrus  King — names  very 
conspicuous  and  honorable  in  the  history  of  that  state.  All 
these  excellent  women  had  several  daughters,  who  consti- 
tuted a  very  considerable  and  intimate  society  of  theii'  own, 
and,  by  reason  of  their  inherited  and  acquired  character- 
istics, figured  not  a  little  in  the  general  society  of  that  time. 

"  Harriet  Porter  was  one  of  the  most  observable  of  this 
uncommon  group  of  cousins,  and  one  of  their  best  repre- 
sentatives in  other  circles.  At  the  time  of  my  first  acquaint- 
ance with  her  she  was  a  young  lady  of  almost  womanly  age, 
and  was  already  distinguished  in  her  sphere.  Her  beauti- 
ful person  and  elegant  manners  were  fitly  associated  with  a 
vigorous  and  cultivated  intellect,  a  generous  spirit,  and  ex- 
traordinary affability. 

''  Her  mind  was  perfectly  balanced,  composed,  serene,  yet 
she  was  susceptible  of  the  liveliest  emotions;  always  cheer- 
ful, sometimes  joyous,  and  never  failing,  without  effort  or  af- 
fectation, to  gladden  her  own  home,  and  all  who  were  at  any 
time  privileged  with  her  society.  Her  facility,  gracefulness, 
amenity,  and  dignity  were  proverbial,  and  were  the  same  in 
all  her  relations.  Her  sense  of  rectitude,  order,  and  propri- 
ety was  exquisite.  She  never  made  a  mistake.  She  never 
attempted  what  did  not  become  her,  and  whatever  she  at- 
tempted was  well  done.    She  was  justly  regarded  as  a  model. 

"It  was  about  1812,  as  nearly  as  I  remember,  when  her 
pastor,  Dr.  Payson,  was  in  his  meridian  of  usefulness,  that 
she,  with  many  others  of  her  most  intimate  associates,  was 
awakened  to  religious  inquiry  by  the  preaching  of  that  re- 


856  AT7T0BI0GBAPHY.  • 

markable  man.  She  became  a  Christian.  I  was  then  inti- 
mately acquainted  with  her,  personally  and  by  correspond- 
ence. 

"  Some  of  her  letters,  written  at  that  time,  were  significant 
of  uncommon  Christian  intelligence  and  feeling.  They  were 
deeply  impressive  upon  many  who  had  never  known  any 
thing  of  a  similar  experience.  I  remember  particularly  that 
fny  honored  father  was  first  moved  religiously  by  one  of 
them.  He  caused  her  to  be  invited  to  his  house;  and  I 
have  thought  that  the  Christian  hope  in  which  he  soon  aft- 
erward died  was  referable  to  her  example,  conversation,  and 
prayers.  Her  religious  life  was  devout,  sincere,  consistent, 
and  added  great  beauty  and  almost  sublimity  to  the  natural 
excellencies  for  which  she  was  distinguished." 

The  earlj  religious  experience  to  which  Dr.  Lord  refers 
is  illustrated  by  the  following  extract  from  one  of  her  letters, 
written  soon  after  her  conversion : 

*  *  *  "  For  a  whole  month  I  sought  and  agonized.  I 
would  have  parted  with  a  right  hand  or  right  eye.  Still,  it 
only  remained  for  me  to  say,  *  What  can  be  the  reason  ?'  for, 
instead  of  relief,  I  was  plunged  deeper  and  deeper  in  embar- 
rassment and  acute*distress.  I  read,  ^  Whom  the  Lord  lov- 
eth  He  chasteneth,  and  scourgeth  every  son  whom  He  re- 
ceiveth.'  '  Oh  scourge  me  I'  I  cried,  *  so  Thou  but  heal  me 
with  Thy  love.'  I  thought  this  was  what  my  soul  required, 
and  now  the  difficulty  was  explained.  I  waited  a  whole 
day  under  this  reflection,  with  meekness  and  patience ;  but 
the  night  found  me — oh,  I  hardly  dare  recur  to  what  I  did 
and  suffered.  Often  I  was  persuaded  that  life  or  reason 
must  inevitably  leave  me.  I  believe  not  all  the  exhortations 
and  persuasions  in  the  world  can  make  a  sinner  believe :  it 
is  the  gift  of  God.    No  sooner  did  I  feel,  through  faith,  that 


HABBIBT  POBTBB.  857 

Christ  il  able,  ready,  and  willing  to  save,  than,  had  I  a  thou- 
sand souls,  I  would  freely  surrender  them  all  to  Him. 

^'  I  thought  it  must  be  a  delusion  that  I  should  find  mer- 
cy and  acceptance.  Had  it  been  audibly,  declared  to  me, 
^  Daughter,  thy  sins  are  forgiven  thee !'  I  could  have  felt  no 
higher  joy  and  fullness  of  pleasure.  But  words  are  only 
mocking  my  feelings  and  emotions. 

"  The  perfection  of  God — the  love  of  Christ  seemed  to 
pour  in  upon  me.  I  was  overwhelmed.  I  wonder  I  was 
not  annihilated.  What  was  it?  I  had  attained  a  happi- 
ness of  glory,  immortality,  eternal  life,  the  free  gift  of  the  in- 
conceivable grace  of  God,  and  was  not  doomed  to  wait ;  it 
is  a  present  salvation. 

^'  I  feel  that  I  am  cleansed  by  the  efficacy  of  the  blood  of 
Christ.  My  soul  doth  magnify  the  Lord,  my  spirit  rejoices 
in  God  my  Savior.  It  seemed  to  me  I  had  found  something 
of  inestimable  value,  of  which,  if  I  lost  sight,  it  would  be 
wrested  from  me.  I  was  afraid  to  sleep,  lest  in  the  morn- 
ing I  should  not  find  it.  ^  I  will  leave  Thee,'  at  last  I  said, 
*  but  Thou  wilt  not  leave  me.' 

*^  And  now  this  is  the  third  day,  and  it  is  renewed  every 
morning  and  increased  every  evening.  N^ver  was  any  crea- 
ture so  blessed,  so  filled  with  joy  and  consolation.  ^  Come, 
all  ye  that  fear  the  Lord,  and  I  will  declare  what  He  hath 
done  for  my  soul.'  This  is  the  language  of  my  heart.  Such 
freedom  and  perfect  liberty,  as  though  emancipated  from 
the  most  goading  and  oppressive  shackles.  I  rejoice,  yet 
with  excessive  trembling.  To  support  such  elevation  is  im- 
possible. Corruption' must  return ;  it  is  not  yet  extinguish- 
ed ;  but  it  is  written,  ^  My  grace  is  sufficient  for  thee.' 

^'  I  dread  the  recurrence  of  temptation,  for  I  have  no 
strength,  no  power  of  resistance ;  yet  I  know  where  my 
strength  lies ;  but  I  am  an  infant  in  Christ." 


358  AUTOBIOGBAPBV* 

Afler  Dr.Beecher*s  seturn  to  Litchfield,  the  follo^flng  cor- 
respondence took  place : 

Catharine  to  Miss  Sarriet  Porter, 

"  Deab  Madam, — ^The  prospect  of  the  connection  to  take 
place  between  my  father  and  yourself,  and  the  tender  alli- 
ance so  soon  to  subsist  between  yon  and  this  family,  give 
me  the  liberty  and  pleasure  of  addressing  you,  though  I  have 
never  enjoyed  the  satisfaction  of  personal  acquaintance. 

''  As  the  oldest  child  and  daughter,  I  feel  it  my  duty  to 
express  to  you  my  feelings  on  this  occasion,  as  I  can  not  but 
suppose  that  you  feel  some  anxiety  to  know  my  sentiments 
and  those  of  the  other  chUdren  upon  a  subject  so  nearly 
concerned  with  your  happiness  and  our  own. 

*^  It  pleased  God  to  deprive  me  of  a  kind  and  tender  moth- 
er at  an  age  when  I  had  just  begun  to  realize  her  uncommon 
worth,  and  at  a  time  when  I  particularly  felt  the  need  of 
the  watchful  care  and  kind  advice  of  a  mother.  It  was  at 
an  age  when  I  knew  my  character  was  forming  in  the  eyes 
of  the  world — when  I  was  expected  to  throw  off  the  charac- 
ter of  a  girl  and  assume  that  of  a  woman — when  every  ac- 
tion of  my  life  would  be  regarded,  not  as  the  impulse  of  an 
uninformed  child,  but  as  springing  from  the  fixed  principles 
of  an  established  character. 

*^  With  these  feelings,  dear  madam,  imagine  how  terrible 
was  the  stroke  that  deprived  me  of  my  guide,  my  adviser, 
and  my  best  earthly  friend ;  that  left  me  comparatively  alone 
to  grope  my  own  way  through  the  dangers  and  vicissitudes 
of  early  life ;  for  who  can  fill  a  mother^ s  place  but  a  mother. 
But  this  was  not  my  only  misfortune.  It  was  not  for  my 
own  loss  alone  that  I  mourned ;  the  stroke  fell  heavily  upon 
my  dear  remaining  parent.  It  left  him  solitary,  comfortless, 
and  afflicted,  and  it  was  a  loss  which  I  felt  it  utterly  out  of 


HASSIBT  POBTBB.  859 

my  power  to  repair  or  alleviate.  J.  also  felt  bitterly  for  my 
dear  brothers  and  sisters,  thus  with  myself  deprived  of  a 
tender  and  affectionate  parent ;  and,  above  all,  I  realized 
the  heavy  care  and  responsibility  which  rested  upon  me,  as 
their  eldest  sister,  to  supply  my  mother's  place  to  them. 

'^  I  have  at  times,  thongh  naturally  of  a  cheerful  disposi- 
tion, fdt  almost  wretched  when  r^ecting  upon  my  father's, 
my  brothers'  and  sisters',  and  my  own  unhappy  situation. 
Think,  then,  dear  madam,  how  great  must  be  my  joy  and 
relief,  and  how  unbounded  ought  to  be  my  gratitude  to  God, 
our  heavenly  Father,  for  His  sudden  and  unforeseen  mercy 
in  thus  providing  one  so  competent,  and  who,  I  doubt  not, 
will  so  kindly  fill  all  the  tender  relations  of  my  dear  depart- 
ed parent — one  who  will  prove  a  kind  and  affectionate  com- 
panion to  my  father,  and  relieve  his  mind  from  heavy  do- 
mestic cares  —  a  tender  and  watchful  mother  to  my  dear 
brothers  and  sisters,  and  who  will  be  to  me  a  guide,  a  pat- 
tern, and  friend,  to  whom  I  may  look  up  for  assistance  and 
advice,  so  necessary  and  desirable. 

^'I  speak  for  myself,  and  for  all  my  brothers  and  sisters 
who  are  capable  of  considering  the  extent  of  their  obliga- 
tion to  you,  when  we  promise  to  make  it  our  constant  study 
to  render  you  the  affection,  obedience,  and  all  the  kind  offi- 
ces which  we  should  wish  to  pay  our  ovm  mother  were  she 
now  restored  to  us  from  the  grave.  The  sacred  name  of 
mother^  so  bound  up  in  our  hearts,  would  alone  entitle  you 
to  the  most  undeviating  affection  and  respect. 

^'  My  brothers  and  sisters  desire  to  be  remembered  to  her 
who,  they  trust,  will  soon  be  their  dear  protector  and  friend, 
and  join  their  affectionate  salutations  with  those  of  one  who 
hopes  ere  long  to  be  truly  your  dutiful  and  affectionate 
daughter." 


860  AUTOBIOaBAPHT* 

Miss  jSarriet  Porter  to  Caihoarme. 

*' Boston,  September  la,  1817. 

^'  My  DBAS  CATHARms, — ^How  sweetly  have  you  aotici* 
pated  my  feelings  and  wishes  in  thus  early  communicating 
your  own.  This  is  an  expression  of  kindness  which  finds  a 
ready  passage  to  my  heart ;  especially  does  my  gratitude 
ascend  to  God,  whose  hand  I  desire  to  be  able  to  recognize 
in  this  so  great  a  favor. 

^  You  have  judged  rightly  in  supposing  that  a  knowledge 
of  your  sentiments  at  this  time  is  truly  desirable  to  me.  I 
have  thought  of  it  again  and  again  with  increasing  solici- 
tude, though  I  now  assure  you  that  you  have  afforded  me 
much  satisfaction,  and  removed  no  inconsiderable  burden 
from  a  mind  at  times  almost  overwhelmed. 

^'In  view  of  so  high  and  responsible  a  station  as  that  to 
which,  in  Providence,  I  seem  to  be  called,  I  need  such  alle- 
viations, though  my  dependence,  I  trust,  is  in  the  wisdom 
and  mercy  of  the  unerring  Hand  which,  I  humbly  hope,  has 
hitherto  directed  my  steps. 

<*  I  can  sympathize  with  yon,  my  dear  (and  I  believe  the 
time  will  never  come  that  I  shall  not),  in  the  deep  affliction 
you  have  so  early  experienced.  In  your  sentiments  and  feel- 
ings  in  this  respect  I  find  the  best  security  of  consolation 
and  happiness  in  the  prospect  of  so  intimate  a  connection 
with  you.  Had  you  loved,  or  lamented  less,  one  so  much 
and  so  deservedly  endeared  to  you,  I  should  have  feared  for 
your  principles,  and  for  the  affections  of  your  heart.  If  you 
would  please  me,  then,  always  continue  to  consider  your  ai& 
fliction  great,  your  loss  irreparable.  I  am  not  to  take  the 
place  of  that  mother.  Oh  no.  She  must  still  live  in  your 
memory  and  affections ;  but  have  you  not  room  for  me  also  ? 
I  know  experimentally  that  a  friend  thus  removed  from  us, 


HABBIXT  POBTSB.  361 

in  a  vary  important  sense  still  remains  with  ns.  They  infiu- 
encet  onr  conduct ;  they  are  ministering  spirits,  maintaining 
a  right  and  power  over  oar  feelings  and  actions. 

^^I  will  appeal  to  yourself.  Are  you  not  frequently  urged 
to  the  performance  of  many  things,  and  likewise  restrained 
from  others,  by  the  reflection,  ^  This  would  please  or  displease 
my  mother  V  And  your  d  welUng  will,  I  doubt  not,  be  sanc- 
tified in  my  sight  by  the  thought  that  here  was  the  residence 
of  one  moving  in  the  path  of  Christian  love  and  benevolence, 
diffusing  comfort  and  blessings  around  her,  and  here  espe- 
cially— a  saint  departed  to  glory ! 

^'To  succeed  such  a  woman  is,  indeed,  a  momentous  con- 
cern. I  feel  it  to  be  such,  and  that  it  involves  a  great  sum 
of  earthly  happiness,  and  has  consequences  fastened  upon  it 
of  incalculable  weight  and  importance.  In  my  view,  a  min- 
ister of  the  Gospel  fills  a  most  honorable  station.  He  is  to 
be  considered  a  messenger  from  the  court  of  Heaven.  His 
happiness  is  to  be  regarded,  his  comfort  to  be  promoted  in 
every  possible  way.  To  be  an  instrument  of  good  to  such 
is  also  honorable ;  it  is  a  preferment,  I  think,  far  above  the 
distinctions  which  usually  give  pre-eminence  in  this  life. 
That  God  is  able  to  make  me  such  an  instrument  I  do  not 
doubt,  but  that  He  will  do  it  I  have  no  security,  nor  any 
certain  means  of  calculating ;  yet  my  daily  prayer  to  Him  is 
that,  if  I  can  not  be  made  a  blessing  to  every  one  of  you, 
His  interposing  hand  may  blast  an  alliance  which  otherwise 
would  only  brii^  with  it  pain  and  wretchedness. 

^'  Still,  I  should  be  ungrateful  not  to  say  that,  even  in  view 
of  the  peculiarity  of  the  situation,  I  have  much  good  hope 
and  confidence;  and  need  I  add  how  very  much  all  this 
springs  from  a  disclosure  of  the  disposition  and  feelings  in 
yourself,  your  brothers  and  sisters? 

*^  Give  my  love  to  each  of  them.    I  have  already  given  to 


362  AUTOBIOGaAPHT, 

yon  all  a  shape  and  feature.  It  seems  as  though  you  must 
resemble  nieees  and  nephews  of  mine  who  are  so  dear  to  me. 

*'  May  I  be  so  happy  as  to  obtain  favor  in  your  sight,  and 
find  my  own  heart  warmed  with  the  most  lively  and  tender 
sentiments  of  kindness  and  affection.  I  hope  you  will  be 
able  to  prevent  any  unpleasant  or  pamful  impressions  upon 
the  minds  of  your  brothers  and  sbters.  Tell  them  that  a 
firiend  is  ooming  a  great  way  on  purpose  to  love  them,  and 
take  oare  of  them,  and  do  them  good ;  and  when  you  teach 
them  their  evening  prayers,  can  not  you  associate  my  name, 
and  lead  them  already  to  raise  their  hands  and  voices  in  my 
behalf?  We  can  never  lightly  esteem  one  for  whom  we  ha- 
bitually pray. 

*^  Will  yon  not  write  again,  my*  dear  Catharine,  thereby 
ai^ticipating  a  part  of  the  work  before  us  by  getting  ac- 
quainted even  before  we  meet?" 


The  wedding  tour  is  thus  described  by  Dr.  Beecher : 

<^In  the  faQ  I  went  to  Portland,  and  we  were  married  at 
Grandpa  Porter's.  Dr.  Payson  performed  the  ceremony. 
From  Portland  we  went  round  visiting  among  her  cousms 
and  friends  where  they  were  within  reach.  We  spent  a 
week  or  more  in  Boston,  and  then  set  out  for  home.  The 
whole  journey  was  made  in  the  old  fiunily  chaise. 

*^  Her  things  were  put  up  in  an  immense  great  trunk  cov- 
ered with  yellow  leather,  and  sent  round  by  water  to  New 
Haven.  Aunt  Homes  fitted  her  out.  But^winter  came  on, 
and  the  vessel  was  frozen  up,  so  that  we  did  not  get  the 
trunk  tiU  spring.    She  had  to  patdi  up  for  winter.'' 

The  advent  of  the  new  mother  is  thus  described  by  Mrs. 
Stowe : 

^'  I  was  about  six  years  old,  and  slept  in  the  nursery  with 
my  two  younger  brothers.    We  knew  that  fiither  was  gone 


HUUEOBT  POBrTBB.  363 

away  somewhere  on  a  joorney,  and  was  expected  home,  and 
therefore  the  somid  of  a  bustle  or  disturbance  in  the  house 
more  easily  awoke  ns.  We  heard  Other's  voice  in  the  en- 
try, and  started  up  in  our  little  beds,  crying  out  as  he  enter- 
ed our  room,  ^  Why,  here's  pa !'  A  cheerful  voice  called  out 
from  behind  him,  ^  And  here's  ma  1' 

^' A  beautiful  lady,  very  fair,  with  bright  blue  eyes,  and 
soft  auburn  hair  bound  round  with  a  black  velvet  bandeau, 
came  into  the  room  smiling,  eager,  and  happy-looking,  and, 
coming  up  to  our  beds,  kissed  us,  and  told  us  that  she  loved 
little  children,  and  that  she  would  be  our  mother.  We 
wanted  forthwith  to  get  up  and  be  dressed,  but  she  pacified 
us  with  the  promise  that  we  should  find  her  in  the  morning. 

''Never  did  mother-in-law  make  a  prettier  or  sweeter  im- 
pression. The  next  morning,  I  remember,  we  looked  at  her 
with  awe.  She  seemed  to  us  so  fair,  so  delicate,  so  elegant, 
that  we  were  almost  afraid  to  go  near  her.  We  must  have 
been  rough,  red-cheeked,  hearty  country  children,  honest, 
obedient,  and  bashful.  She  was  peculiarly  dainty  and  neat 
HI  all  her  ways  and  arrangements ;  and  I  remember  I  used 
to  feel  breezy,  and  rough,  and  rude  in  her  presence.  We 
felt  a  little  in  aw«  of  her,  as  if  she  were  a  strange  princess 
rather  than  our  own  mamma ;  but  her  voice  was  very  sweet, 
her  ways  of  moving  and  speaking  very  graceful,  and  she 
took  us  up  in  her  lap  and  let  us  play  with  her  beautiful 
hands,  which  seemed  wonderful  things,  made  of  pearl,  and 
ornamented  with  strange  rings." 


864  AUTOBIOGSAPaY. 


CHAPTER  LIV. 

COERESPONDENCK,  181 7-1 8. 

Mrs.  Beecker  to  Miss  Lticy  Porter. 

"  Litchfield,  Nov.  17, 1817. 

^'My  deab  Sister, — ^And  so  I  am  dating  a  letter  lAUsh' 
Jidd;  und  in  several  respects  it  certainly  is  the  climacteric 
of  my  experience,  for  it  is  the  highest  place  I  ever  was  upon. 
I  never  saw  such  hills  as  we  had  to  climb  to  get  up  here 
from  Hartford ;  thongh  I  did  not  mean  to  mention  it,  lest  it 
might  seem  an  obstacle  to  any  of  my  friends  who  might 
contemplate  a  similar  expedition ;  yet  I  can  tell  them  that  I 
suppose  the  place  finally  will  answer  the  pleasant  descrip- 
tions we  hav  heard. 

"  Our  jonmey  was  highly  favorable.  We  met  with  no 
disaster  of  any  sort ;  had  but  one  unpleasant  day,  and  that 
only  damp,  with  a  little  rain.  It  was  a  very  pleasant  jour- 
ney. The  visits  we  made,  both  in  Massachusetts  and  Con- 
necticut, were  among  the  best  of  people^  and  those  who  are, 
for  the  most  part,  very  agreeable.  We  did  not  pass  but  one 
night  at  a  tavern.  We  did  not  go  to  New  Haven,  but  took 
the  shortest  route  from  Boston  to  Hartford.  I  felt  unwil- 
ling myself  in  any  way  to  protract  the  journey,  because  the 
weather  was  so  good ;  therefore,  on  Friday  evening,  we  as- 
cended the  last  height,  which  landed  us  on  the  plain  of 
Litchfield. 

'^  I  came  up  with  mingled  emotions  of  pleasure,  solicitude, 
and  impatience,  yet  feeling  my  confidence  in  God  unshaken, 

'A  that  in  obedience  to  His  will  my  feet  should  be  planted 


COBRBBFOlfDICNCBy  1817-18.  866 

on  this  mountain.  Here  I  hoped  to  live,  fill  up  the  remnant 
of  my  days  in  usefoInesSy  and  be  made  meet  for  that  heaven, 
the  end  and  aim  of  all  my  hopes. 

*^  We  surprised  the  &milj  here  almost  as  much  as  Mr. 
Beecher  did  us.  They  did  not  ezpeot  us  till  the  following 
evening ;  but  it  was  a  joyfol  surprise  to  them.  I  never  saw 
so  many  rosy  cheeks  and  langhing  eyes.  Catharine,  howev- 
er, felt  too  much,  and  was  most  overcome ;  the  little  ones 
were  all  joy  and  gladness.  They  began  all,  the  first  thing,  to 
tell  their  dreams,  for  it  seems  they  have  dreamed  of  nothing 
else  but  father's  coming  home ;  and  some  dreamed  he  came 
without  me,  and  some  that  he  brought  two  mothers. 

(( They  all  became  immediately  very  free  and  social  except 
the  youngest,  and  he  is  quite  shy ;  calls  me  Mady,'  and  some- 
times '  dear  lady ;'  but  he  loves  his  aunt  much  the  best.  I 
have  never  seen  a  finer  family  of  children,  or  a  more  agree- 
able ;  but  I  will  tell  you  more  hereafter  when  I  am  better 
informed,  and  only  mean  now  to  say  I  am  here,  and  well,  and 
getting  acquainted  as  &st  as  I  suspect  any  person  ever  did. 
It  has  stormed  ever  since  we  arrived  except  the  Sabbath, 
and  I  am  glad  of  it,  for  I  was  greatly  fatigued,  and  therefore 
heartily  glad  not  to  see  any  company  immediately,  though 
Mr.  Beecher  wished  me  not  to  write  home  till  I  had  seen 
some  of  his  dear  friends. 

"I  went  to  meeting,  however,  and  so  satisfied, I  suppose, 
the  unbounded  curiosity  of  this  people  to  see  Mr.  Beecher's 
new  wife.  I  felt  some  agitation,  on  entering  the  door,  to  see 
every  body  seated,  and,  had  I  known  all,  I  don't  know  but  I 
should  have  fallen  down  in  the  way,  for  William  says  the 
people  all  turned  round,  and  the  scholars  and  all  in  the  gal- 
leries rose  up.  The  children  are  greatly  amused  abont  it  as 
well  as  the  rest  of  ns. 

*^  I  am  delighted  with  the  great  femiliarity  and  great 


366  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

spect  subBisting  between  parent  and  children.  It  is  a  hooBe 
of  great  cheerfulness  and  comfort,  and  I  am  begipning  to 
feel  at  home.  I  expect  in  l^is  situation  a  great  increase  of 
happiness ;  but  Giod  knows  what  is  best  for  me,  and  I  am 
willing  the  government  should  be  in  His  hands. 

<(  Harriet  and  Henry  are  very  desirous  for  me  to  send  their 
love.  Harriet  just  said  to  me,  ^  Because  you  have  come  and 
married  my  pa,  when  I  am  big  enough  I  mean  to  go  and 
marry  your  pa.' "    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

Catharine  to , 

«November21,1817. 

^'  Papa  returned  from  Portland  last  week,  and  I  intended 
to  have  written  immediately,  but  the  constant  round  of  com- 
pany prevented.    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

'^  Our  new  mother  is  every  thing  we  could  wish,  and  we 
already  love  her  dearly.  At  first,  the  sight  of  her,  and  the 
name  she  bore,  served  to  renew  our  sorrow  at  the  recollec- 
tion of  our  own  dear  mother,  and  for  a  short  time  it  was  a 
trial  for  me  to  see  her  place  filled  by  a  stranger ;  but  that 
stranger  has  now  become  a  mother  in  our  affections,  and,  we 
trust,  will  ever  continue  so.  She  is  very  kind  to  us  all,  and 
appears  desirous  to  do  all  in  her  power  for  our  happiness 
and  comfort.  All  our  friends  are  very  much  pleased  with 
her,  and  I  doubt  not  that  she  will  prove  a  great  blessing  to 
us  all.    *    *    * 

^'  Aunt  Esther  and  Grandma  Beecher  are  with  us  still. 
They  will  stay  a  fortnight  or  so,  that  mother  may  become 
initiated  ii)  household  matters. 

"The  children  are  all  well.  Harriet  is  a  very  good  girl. 
She  has  been  to  school  all  this  summer,  and  has  learned  to 
read  very  fluently.  She  has  committed  to  memory  twenty- 
seven  hynms  and  two  long  chapters  in  the  Bible.    She  has 


'COBBEBPOin>ESrGB,  1817-18.  367 

a  remarkably  retentive  memory,  and  will  make  a  good  schol- 
ar. She  says  she  has  got  a  new  mother,  and  loves  her  very 
much,  and  means  to  be  a  very  good  child." 

Mrs^JBeecAer  to . 


"Docembor4,1817. 

cc «  «  *  lam  beginning  to  have  something  like  a  home 
feeling.  It  is  a  very  lovely  family,  and,  with  heartfelt  grat- 
itude, I  observed  how  cheerful  and  healthy  they  were ;  and 
the  sentiment  is  greatly  increased  since  I  perceive  them  to 
be  of  agreeable  habits,  and  some  of  them  of  uncommon  in- 
tellect. They  are  larger  than  I  imagined,  and  take  more 
care  of  themselves. 

^^I  am  preparing  to  add  my  testimony  to  that  of  others 
that  the  society  of  Litchfield  is  singularly  good ;  not  so  large 
as  to  be  oppressive,  but  large  enough.  I  think  I  have  not 
seen  in  any  place  so  much  piety,  intelligence,  and  refinement 
united.  Judge  Reeve  is  a  distinguished  man  in  the  world 
and  a  valuable  Christian.  Mrs.  Reeve  is  a  superior  woman. 
I  shall  find  in  her  a  most  tender  and  faithful  friend. 

*'  Colonel  Tallmadge  is  a  man  of  wealth  and  influence,  and 
is  also  foremost  in  conference  meetings.  The  first  people 
here  are  deddedly  the  most  religious.  I  can  name  a  num- 
ber of  females  with  high  admiration.  Mss  Pierce's  school 
has  acquired  great  celebrity,  and,  together  with  the  law- 
school,  gives  society  a  very  pleasing  aspect — so  much  youth, 
health,  and  beauty. 

**  The  situation  of  the  place  is  highly  advantageous  for 
health.  It  is  high ;  the  air  salubrious.  The  town  is  laid  out 
in  four  broad  streets  meeting  at  the  centre,  where  is  a  large 
green  on  which  the  me^ing-house  stands. 

''  At  the  comer  of  these  streets  are  some  handsome  build- 
ings, a  neat  Episcopal  church,  court-house,  bank,  etc.    But 


368  AUTOBIOGSAPHT. 

the  beauty  of  the  place  is  the  wide  streets^  thickly  planted 
on  either  hand  with  fine  trees.  It  surpasses  in  pleasantness 
any  thing  I  have  seen  except  Boston  Mall.  The  houses  are 
white  and  neat,  and  there  is  no  appearance  of  poverty.  I 
think  it  must  be  one  of  the  most  beautiful  summer  towns  in 
the  world.  Our  dwelling  is  pleasantly  situated  and  un- 
commonly convenient,  and  looks  full  well  enough  for  a  min- 
ister's family. 

^^I  like  the  Russian  stove  wonderfully;  it  almost  annihi- 
lates the  winter  within  doors.  It  warms  three  rooms  below 
and  three  above,  and  mitigates  the  air  all  over  the  house.  I 
am  now  sitting  in  my  chamber ;  it  is  a  cold  day,  but  I  should 
suppose  it  agreeable  summer  weather.  We  have  no  shiv- 
ering  about  in  the  morning,  and  the  work  of  a  family  is  done 
with  greater  ease.-  We  are  all  up  at  break  of  day,  and  have 
prayers  before  sunrise.  The  two  boys  are  going  away 
soon ;  but  we  shall  miss  them  much,  they  are  so  pleasant 
and  lively. 

"We  have  not  worldly  distinctions, but  the  fiivor  we  re- 
ceive from  the  wise  and  good  is  most  gratifying.  The  inter- 
est of  this  family  seems  to  be  the  interest  of  the  whole  town. 

"Our  Thanksgiving  was  very  pleasant.  Colonel  Tall- 
madge  gave  a  dinner  to  the  poor  of  the  Church.  The  poor 
are  not  very  poor.  He  wished  Mr.  Beecher  and  myself  to 
be  there ;  but,  as  we  wished  to  dine  with  the  children,  we 
only  went  in  the  afternoon,  when  I  was  introduced  to  this 
class  of  good  people,  and  we  had  a  prayer-meeting. 

"  The  governor  resides  here  (Wolcott).  He  has  honored 
me  with  a  call.  He  is  a  Toleration  man.  Comes  half  a  day 
to  meetmg,  and  no  more.    *    ♦    * 

"  Catharine  and  Mary  take  all  the  care  of  the  children 
rooming  and  night.  They  go  to  school,  except  the  young- 
est, and  he  is  most  of  the  time  over  at  his  grandma's. 


COBBESPaMDSNCE,  1817-18.  869 

"  Shall  I  tell  you  how  much  I  admire  Mr.  Beecher's  preach- 
ing ?  From  his  great  study  and  experience,  I  think  he  is 
led  into  heights  and  depths  unreached  by  any  I  have  heard. 
When  I  think  what  he  is,  and  what  he  is  doing  in  his  study 
above,  it  helps  in  the  discharge  of  duty  below." 

The  Same. 

<*  Litchfield,  December  8, 1817. 

^'Dbab  Sistsb, — ^I  do  not  know  that  in  my  last  I  said 
much  about-the  society  here.  I  am  exceedingly  gratified  in 
this  respect.  I  shall  find  the  tenderest  friends  and  most 
agreeable  intellectual  associates.  Judge  Reeve  is  a  man 
of  distinction  in  the  world,  and  a  most  active  Christian.  In 
the  time  of  the  revival  here,  Mr.  Beecher  committed  a  class 
of  inquirers  entirely  to  him,  without  visiting  them  at  all  him- 
self, and  he  managed  them  admirably.  Mrs.  Reeve  is  a  very 
superior  woman.  She  is  the  mother  of  this  family-— of  us  all. 
Mrs.  Gould  is  another  fine  woman,  vn  habits  of  great  inti- 
macy with  us.  Mrs.Tallmadge  is  another  I  must  speak  of 
with  affection.  Her  datfghter,  Mrs.  Cushman,  is  an  intimate 
friend  of  Mrs.Payson.  She  passes  the  winter  here.  She  is 
a  fine  woman,  I  think,  and  interesting. 

*'  Colonel  Tallmadge  is  a  man  of  wealth  and  influence,  and 
he  is  active  in  conference  meetings.  It  is  an  immense  ad- 
vantage that  the  first  people  here  are  decidedly  the  most 
religious.  Our  religious  privileges  are  very  great.  Church 
meetings  are  interesting,  and  our  domestic  worship  very  de- 
lightful. We  sing  a  good  deal,  and  have  reading  aloud  as 
much  as  we  can. 

*'  It  seems  the  highest  happiness  of  the  children  (the 
larger  ones  especially)  to  have  a  reading  circle.  They  have 
all,  I  think,  fine  capacities,  and  good  taste  for  learning.  Ed- 
ward, probably,  will  be  a  great  scholar.    He  and  William 

Q2 


870  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

are  soon  to  be  absent,  and  never  very  mnch  more  be  under 
parental  instruction ;  but  I  trost  tbey  will  carry  principles 
with  them  which  shall  remain  always,  and  the  fruit  of  them 
bear  testimony  to  the  benefit  of  early  education.  Catharine 
is  a  fine-looking  girl,  and  in  her  mind  I  find  all  that  I  expect- 
ed. She  is  not  handsome,  yet  there  is  hardly  any  one  who 
appears  better.  Mary  will  make  a  fine  woman,  I  think ;  will 
be  rather  handsome  than  otherwise.  She  is  twelve  now, 
large  of  her  age,  and  is  almost  the  most  useful  member  of 
the  family.  The  four  youngest  are  very  pretty.  George 
comes  next  to  Mary.  He  is  quite  a  large  boy ;  takes  care 
of  the  cow,  etc. ;  goes  to  school,  though  his  father  expects 
to  educate  him.    He  learns  well. 

"Harriet  and  Henry  come  next,  and  they  are  always 
hand-in-hand.  They  are  as  lovely  children  as  I  ever  saw, 
amiable,  affectionate,  and  very  bright.  Charles,  the  young- 
est, we  can  hardly  tell  what  he  will  be,  but  he  promises  well. 
Catharine  and  Mary  take  all  the  care  of  the  children  morn- 
ing and  night,  etc.  They  go  to  school,  except  Charles,  and 
stay  all  day,  so  that  we  have  not  much  noise.  The  boys  are 
up  before  it  is  quite  day,  and  make  fires,  and  we  are  all  down 
and  have  prayers  before  sunrise. 

"  I  like  the  Russian  stove  wonderfully ;  it,  in  fact,  anni- 
hilates the  winter  within  doors.  It  warms  three  rooms  be* 
low  and  three  above.  I  am  now  sitting  in  my  chamber  (and 
it  is  cold  weather),  but  I  should  think  it  agreeable  summer. 
We  have  no  shivering  about  in  the  morning.  They  remain 
warm  through  the  night.  The  children  having  such  a  room 
is  a  great  convenience,  where  they  are  dressed,  etc.,  and  the 
air  of  the  whole  house  is  mitigated.  I  wish  all  my  friends 
had  the  same  comfort.  The  work  of  a  family  can  be  done 
with  much  more  ease,  having  every  part  warm,  and  plenty 
of  water  in  the  kitchen.    Our  dwelling  is  pleasantly  situated, 


COBBEBPOKDBNCB,  1817-18.  871 

and  loo^  fuB  wU  enough.  It  was  originally  an  old-fash- 
ioned honse  of  four  rather  small  rooms.  It  has  now  an  ad- 
dition, upon  one  end,  of  a  large  parlor,  and  entry  and  stairs, 
making  a  new  front,  and  a  kitchen  bmlt  oat  behind.  The 
room  next  the  kitchen  we  call  the  dining-room,  where  the 
fire  is  made  in  the  great  stove.  Here  we  sit  and  eat,  and  it 
does  not  look  very  nice,  bat  is  in  good  repair ;  it  is  lighted 
by  one  of  those  very  large  windows  (sach  as  they  so  often 
have  in  back  rooms  in  Boston),  with  a  cartain  to  it.  Here 
are  chairs,  and  table,  and  canvas  carpet;  bat  the  little  front 
room  is  also  warm,  and  all  company  sit  down  there.  This 
room  looks  considerably  better.  The  large  parlor  is  a  pleas- 
ant room,  and  prettily  furnished.  The  north  room  and  cham- 
ber over  it  have  been  occapied  by  a  law  student  in  each. 
They  are  not  wanted  at  all,  and  that  front  door  is  not  used 
for  any  thing  else. 

"The  house  is  white;  has  a  pleasant  yard  round  it,  and 
beautiful  trees.  The  garden  yields  plenty  of  vegetables  for 
the  year,  plenty  of  cherries ;  and  the  orchard  furnishes  cider 
and  apples  enough.  A  barrel  of  apple-sauce  is  made  in  the 
faU,  which  the  childiren  use  instead  of  butter.  Mr.  Beecher's 
and  my  nine  o'clock  supper  is  always  sweet  apples  and  milk. 
I  wish  father  would  join  us.  Now,  if  you  do  not  think  all 
this  particular  enough,  I  sha'n't  know  what  to  write  in  my 
next." 

The  Same. 

«Litchfield,Jan.22,1818. 

^  DsAB  Fbixnds, — ^I  did  not  mean  it  should  be  so  long  be- 
fore I  wrote  again,  but  a  multitude  of  concerns  has  made  it 
quite  impracticable.  I  am  usually  pretty  busy  through  the 
day,  and  for  the  three  last  weeks  we  have  been  out  to  tea 
every  evening,  I  think,  save  one.    We  have  still  a  number 


372  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

of  visits  to  make,  espedaLly  as  we  are  now  extending  our 
acquuntance  among  the  fanners.  Mr.  Beechef  takes  me 
with  him  ont  of  the  village.  We  make  a  number  of  calls, 
visit  a  school,  take  tea  with  some  good  Christian  family, 
and  then  preach  or  lecture  in  the  evening.  Some  of  these 
meetings  have  been  very  interesting,  the  hearts  of  many  evi- 
dently melted,  and  we  have  reason  to  hope  this  place  may 
again  be  made  glad  with  the  presence  of  the  Lord.  We  are 
endeavoring  to  effect  our  purpose  of  bringing  the  females  of 
the  Church  together  and  establishing  a  general  meeting.  I 
trust  it  will  succeed,  and  effect  much  good,  though  there  is 
yet  much  backwardness  among  those  who  ought  to  be  lead- 
ers. I  find  some  of  the  very  best  people  in  the  world  and 
most  agreeable,  and  they  are  very  kind  toward  me.  I  doubt 
not,  if  I  were  in  trials  and  afilictions,  I  should  find  the  ten- 
derest  sympathy  and  affection. 

^'  Mrs.  Edwards  and  her  daughters  (who  are  President 
Edwards's  progeny)  are  very  valuable  friends,  truly  eminent 
for  their  piety.  Mrs.Gk>uld  is  one  of  the  very  first  of  female 
intellect.  I  hope,  when  my  general  visiting  is  over,  to  have 
much  delightful  intercourse  with  her.  At  present  I  have  to 
treat  all  pretty  much  alike.  My  health  continues  very  good, 
though  I  drive  about  so.  I  do  not  have  such  frequent  colds 
as  last  winter. 

^^  Litchfield,  though  proverbially  cold,  has  not  yet  felt  the 
severity  I  have  usually  experienced  in  the  district  of  Maine ; 
but  I  suspect  every  where  the  winter  thus  far  has  been  very 
mild.  Our  meeting-house  has  a  stove  in  it,  which  mitigates 
the  air  very  much,  and  our  Russian  stove  at  home  is  one  of 
the  greatest  comforts  I  ever  enjoyed,  though  I  don't  like  the 
looks  of  it. 

"They  have  one  singular  custom  here.  The  meeting- 
house is  owned  by  the  parish.    No  one  has  a  pew  of  his 


COBKBSFOVDXirCB,  1817-18.  373 

own.  A  committee  is  appointed  every  year,  called  the  seat- 
ers;  and  they  seat  the  people  as  they  think  proper,  with- 
out distinction,  two  or  more  families  in  a  pew,  and  change 
them  every  year,  so  that  none  may  take  offense. 

^'  We  heard  the  governor  was  going  to  invite  us  to  his 
house,  bnt,  at  a  party  where  we  met,  he  did  not  like  our 
management  of  closing  the  evening  with  prayer  and  sing- 
ing, and  BO  has  given  it  np. 

^^Mr.Beecher's  labors  are  greater  than  any  minister's  I 
know.  He  preaches  more  than  Mr.  Payson,  and  his  people 
are  so  scattered  that  his  parochial  duties  are  much  more  fa- 
tiguing and  difficult.  K  any  thing  would  induce  him  to 
change  his  residence,  it  would  be  a  more  compact  society. 
The  attachment  of  his  people  to  him  is  very  gratifying ;  I 
witness  it  myself  with  great  delight. 

^'  I  like  Mr.  Beecher's  preaching  as  well  as  ever.  His 
sermons  are  chiefly  extemporaneous.  They  are  animated, 
and  have  much  effect.  He  is  preparing  another  sermon  for 
the  press,  and  shortly  some  tracts.  We  usually  have  a  good 
deal  of  company :  calling  ministers,  young  men  come  for  ad- 
vice, etc.  On  Wednesday  evenings  the  law  students  come 
here,  and  are  lectured  upon  theology.  On  Saturdays  Mr. 
Beecher  gives  lectures  also  to  the  school^*  of  young  ladies 
upon  the  questions  of  the  Assembly's  Catechism."    *    *    * 

Dr.  JBeecher  to  Mr,  Comeiituf. 

<«Litc1ifieId,Jane  1,1618. 

*'  Dbab  Bbothsb, — ^I  am  like  a  bottleful  of  new  wine,  all 
in  a  ferment.  What  will  come  of  it  I  can  not  tell  yet.  My 
thoughts  are  multitudinous,  and  I  have  not  yet  been  able  to 
find  the  common  centre,  and  to  cause  them  to  gravitate,  as- 
suming their  order  according  to  specific  gravity.  Yea,  they 
are  so  vagrant  and  headstrong,  and  I  am  so  weak,  that  " ' 


374  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 

times  I  have  almost  despairied  of  ever  reduciDg  them  to  use- 
fttl  subjection,  and  never  more  than  this  very  day. 

*'  At  last,  however,  I  have  fixed  down  a  single  stake,  and 
lashed  myself  to  it  with  firm  resolution  that  all  my  thoughts 
which  will  not  concentrate  around  it  may  fly  off  into  chaos. 
And  now  I  begin  to  rest  a  little  and  gain  resolution.  But 
still,  one  thing  I  must  ask,  and  that  is,  give  me  as  much  time 
as  you  can,  and.  Providence  permitting,  I  shall  pay  you  for 
it ;  for  the  subject  is  one  which  demands  study,  and  will  re- 
pay it,  I  am  sure,  if  well  managed ;  and  it  kills  me,  where 
mature  deliberation  is  requisite,  to  feel  in  haste.  I  can  shoot 
flying  at  as  little  warning  as  most  men,  but  when  I  take  sight 
to  fire,  few  men  require  more  time.  Remember,  then,  and 
let  your  installation  be  as  late  as  will  consist  with  your  nec- 
essary arrangements.  I  have  still  confidence  in  my  subject, 
not  the  less  that  I  am  in  trouble  about  it,  for  I  have  never 
yet  brought  forth  any  thing  without  seasons  of  antecedent 
solicitude  and  trouble.    *    *    * 

^'P.S. — Oh  dear!  what  if  there  should  be  a  word  spelt 
wrong  in  this  epistle !  I  can  not  look  back  to  see,  and  as  I 
have  written  upon  the  canter,  I  think  it  is  likely  to  be  so ; 
and  now,  being  a  D.D.,  how  it  must  look  1  Well,  I  did  not 
make  myself  D.p. ;  and  as  to  spelling,  if  I  have  not  spelt 
right,  I  catij  and  so  it  must  go  on  credit." 


COSBBSPONDSNCB,  1818-19.  875 


CHAPTER  LV. 

CORBESPONDBNCE,  1818-19. 

Mr8.  BeecJher  to  Edvoard  at  Yak. 

''November  1,1818. 

*^  Wb  have  had  a  great  breaking-np  since  you  lefl,  so  mach 
so  that  Catharine  and  myself  were  at  the  table  alone ;  but 
we  are  filling  np  again  by  the  addition  of  three  yonng  ladies 
who  have  unexpectedly  come,  and  our  circle  is  enlarging  to 
nearly  its  nsoal  size. 

^'  Yonr  father  and  Catharine  had  a  pleasant  visit  at  North- 
ampton, and  retnmed  safe,  having  passed  the  Sabbath  at 
Hartford.  Little  babe  is  better,  cries  less,  and  begins,  we 
think,  to  show  signs  of  intellect. 

*'  Edward,  I  hope  we  do  not  presume  too  largely  upon 
your  good  habits  and  principles,  but  our  hearts  are  greatly 
at  rest,  in  confidence  that  you  will  be  preserved  blameless. 
We  commit  you  to  the  care  of  the  providence  of  God,  with 
earnest  desires  that  you  may  also  be  the  subject  of  His  spe- 
cial grace.  We  think  and  talk  about  you  a  great  deal,  and 
I  feel  the  parting  from  you  very  muph.'* 

Dr.  Beecfier  to  the  Same. 

"Dbab.  Soiflt, — ^I  perceive  yoTi  feel,  not  home-sick-roh  no, 
but  dreadfully  clesirous  of  hearing  about  home,  even  down 
to  the  cow  and  pigs,  and  the  ^  apple  by  the  gate.'  But  this 
is  all  very  well,  and  shows  that  you  love  home,  and  feel, 
when  absent,  an  increase  of  sensibility  and  interest  in  per- 
sons you  love,  and  in  every  domestic  circumstance  and  asso- 
ciation.   If  you  get  puzzled  with  your  lesson,  and  ^feel 


V 


370  AUTOmOGBAPHY. 

qaeer,'  you  must  avoid  two  things :  first,  not  to  pass  over- 
the  difficulty.  Make  thorough  work,  and  dig  up  science  by 
the  roots.  Second,  not  to  puzzle  too  long  before  you  ask  as- 
sistance, if  you  need  it,  as  to  confound  your  mind.  There  is 
nothing  which  can  not  be  learned  in  the  whole  course  of 
your  study,  and  if  you  can  not  find  the  end  of  the  rope,  the 
tutor's  lips  must  keep  knowledge,  and  you  must  not  be 
a&aid  or  ashamed  to  go  to  his  room  and  ask  his  assistance. 
It  is  much  better  than  to  flounder  in  the  mire,  or  leave  be- 
hind you  a  post  in  the  land  of  Nod  (a  dark  unexplored  place 
nobody  knows  where)  untaken. 

^^  As  to  your  mode  of  pursuing  your  studies:  if  you  have 
any  spare  time,  I  think  it  best  to  explore  the  same  subject 
you  are  studying,  taking  a  wider  range.  Let  your  knowl- 
edge be  accurate  and  j6ut  ideas  definite,  so  that  you  will 
know  what  you  do  know,  and  be  able,  at  a  moment's  warn- 
ing, to  put  in  requisition  your  resources.  Accustom  your- 
self, also,  to  a  careful  method ;  think  methodically  on  all  sub- 
jects ;  lay  every  idea  in  its  place,  on  the  right  shelf,  and  tie 
it  up,  and  label  it  with  others  in  the  right  bundle,  so  that 
you  can  go  to  it  in  the  dark  and  lay  your  hand  on  it.  Ev- 
ery subject,  like  a  tree,  has  a  root.  If  you  find  the  root  and 
follow  it  up,  you  will  find,  by  an  easy  and  natural  process, 
all  the  branches,  and  will  be  able  to  pursue  a  subject  in  all 
its  ramifications ;  whereas,  if  you  lay  hold  and  pull  by  the 
branches  first,  it  will  be  like  pitching  into  the  top  of  a  tree, 
and  cutting  your  way  through  brush  and  thorns  to  the 
root.    *    *    * 

*^Let  me  repeat  a  caution  before  given.  Never  be  con- 
cerned in  any  disorderly  frolic,  or  witty,  waggish  trick. 
Never  be  afraid  to  say  no  to  any  selicitation  to  do  a  wick- 
ed or  improper  thing.  Never  be  governed  by  the  sneer  of 
fools  instead  of  your  Bible  and  your  conscience. 


COSBSSPOKDSKGB,  1818-19.  377 

**  One  thing  more  I  moBt  say.  There  are  often  m  the 
freshman  class,  as  well  as  other  classes,  many  sage  opinions 
broached  as  to  the  utility  of  this  or  that  stndy.  One  thinks 
languages  oseless,  and  becomes  a  poor  lazy  dog  in  the  lan- 
guages. Another  despises  algebra,  and  can  see  no  use  in 
mathematics.  Now  let  no  such  vain  imaginations  enter  your 
head.  The  system  of  study  is  relatively  good.  It  has  for 
its  object  mental  vigor  as  well  as  practical  utility,  and  all 
parts  are  necessary  and  wise  in  the  prescribed  course ;  and 
the  sciences  also,  bound  up,  as  Cicero  says,  by  such  common 
bonds  that  the  possession  of  one  aids  in  the  attainment  of 
the  others,  and  he  is  most  perfect  in  each  who  is  versed  in 
all.  May  God  preserve  your  health,  and  sanctify  your  heart, 
and  fulfill  all  onr  hopes,  and  answer  all  our  prayers  in  your 
usefhlness  and  happiness. 

^^  P.S. — I  suspect  you  do  not  exercise  enough.  Take  care 
of  that." 

2%€  Same.  • 

'*  Litchfield,  Nov.  26, 1818. 
^^Dkab  Soir, — ^I  heard  of  the  fracas  between  the  students 
and  the  young  men  of  the  town,  and  should  have  dispatch- 
ed a  letter  immediately,  warning  you  to  have  nothing  to  do 
with  it ;  *but* — I  thought  to  myself— 'I  have  charged  my 
son  so  often  to  have  nothing  to  do  with  college  scrapes,  and 
he  is  so  steady  and  conscientious,  and  has^o  often  promised 
to  keep  out  of  them,  and  has  so  much  decision  of  character 
to  resist  popular  temptation,  that  it  is  superfluous  to  write ; 
I  may  safely  venture  him.'  And  so  I  dismissed  all  solici- 
tude, from  the  full  conviction  that,  whatever  might  happen, 
you  would  be  in  your  room  and  about  your  proper  business. 
I  was  awakened  from  this  delightful  confidence  and  securi- 
ty by  learning  that  you  had  procured  yourself  a  club  and 


378  AirrOBIOOBAFHT. 

Btones,  and  was  seen  with  others  parading  the  college 
ground ;  and  I^heard  of  some  expressions  from  yonr  lips 
which  seemed  to  show  that  you  had  entered  with  zeal  into 
the  spirit  of  the  conflict,  and  had  given  yourself  np,  though 
a  child,  to  the  violent  feelings  which  attend  such  a  crisis.  I 
am  willing  to  hope  that  the  account  admits  of  mitigating 
explanation;  bat  if  it  does  not,  and  if  yonr  reliance  should 
be  placed  on  justification,  or  on  the  stress  of  temptation, 
then  I  must  say,  my  son,  that  no  justification  can  ev^  be 
made  for  disobeying  the  laws  ^d  the  authority  of  college; 
and  as  to  the  plea  of  temptation,  I  shall  be  alarmed,  and  dis- 
appointed, and  mortified  extremely,  in  finding  you  so  soon 
pleading  temptation  as  an  excuse  for  following  a  multitude 
to  do  evil.    ♦    *    ♦ 

^^My  eon^  there  is  no  living  in  this  teorlclf  and  doing  rights 
if  you  can  not  meet  public  opinion  and  resist  it^  MBihen  a/r- 
rayed  on  the  side  of  evil.    *    ♦    ♦ 

^'  I  wish  yQu,  my  son,  daily  to  remember  that  there  is  a 
public  opinion  more  worthy  to  be  regarded  than  the  opin-^ 
ions  of  unful  men.  The  opinion  of  God,  and  angels,  and 
the  spirits  of  the  just,  among  whom  is  your  desir  departed, 
mother,  whose  soul,  if  now  in  the  body,  would  sympathize 
with  me  in  my  sorrow  for  you,  as  your  present  mother 
does.    *    ♦    ♦ 

'^  We  have  had  a  pleasant  Thanksgiving,  a  good  dinner, 
and,  they  say,  a  good  sermon.  It  would  have  added  to  our 
happiness  to  have  had  William  and  you  sit  down  with  us. 
We  had  presents  piled  in  upon  us  yesterday  at  a  great  rate. 
Mr.  Henry  Wadsworth  sent  6  lbs.  butter,  6  lbs.  lard,  2  lbs. 
hyson  tea,  5  dozen  eggs,  8  lbs.  sugar,  a  large  pig,  a  large  tur- 
key, and  four  cheeses.  The  governor  sent  a  turkey ;  Mrs. 
Thompson  do. ;  and,  to  cap  all,  Mr.  Rogers  sent  us  a  turkey. 
That  is  Toleration  r* 


COBBESPONDBKCB,  1818-19.  8?9 

The  Same. 

<*  Litchfield,  NoTomber  80, 1818. 

"  My  dsab  Son, — ^Though  I  expect  to  ^ee  you  so  soon, 
yet,  as  I  have  made  yon  sorry  by  a  letter,  I  shall  not  defcir  a 
moment  to  answer  yours,  which  I  have  just  read.  And  it 
gives  me  great  pleasure  to  be  able  to  say  that,  according  to 
your  statement,  in  which  also  I  put  entire  confidence,  I  do 
not  perceive  any  thing  to  disapprove.  You  will  not,  how- 
ever, be  grieved  that  I  should  have  written,  when  you  con- 
sider that  it  was  prompted  by  the  solicitude  of  great  affec- 
tion, and  high  hopes  of  your  future  usefulness. 

^*  And,  considering  that  even  he  that  standeth  is  exhorted 
by  inspiration  to  take  heed  lest  he  fall,  I  hope  you  will  not 
regret  an  occasion  which  has  put  into  your  hands  exhorta- 
tions and  instructions  which,  in  some  evil  hour  of  tempta- 
tion, may  be  blessed  to  fortify  you  with  strength  to  resist 
and  overcome."    *    *    * 

Dr.  Seecher  to  Hev.  Thomas  Davies^  Editor  of  Christian 

Spectator, 

"Litchfield,  December,  1818. 

"  I  have  driven  the  quill  with  all  my  might  to  get  ready 
the  two  pieces  which  I  send  you.  The  one  on  Conscience 
and  Grace  I  have  not  punctuated,  nor  made  it  as  perfect  as 
another  revision  would.  Words  yOu  may  alter,  sentiments 
not.  I  shall  give  you  as  much  and  as  well-executed  matter 
as  I  can  produce  from  time  to  time.  The  Magazine  must 
and  shall  be  well  supported,  so  far  as  the  Theological  De- 
partment is  concerned,  if  there  be  talents  enough  in  the 
state,  or  influence  enough  in  love  or  money  to  command 
them. 

^'  I  intend  to  push  the  business  of  getting  subscribers — i.  e.. 


880  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 

seeing  that  they  are  got — ^myself.  Have  laid  the  business 
before  my  Church,  and  all  were  in  favor.  Shall  obtain  from 
twelve  to  twenty  subscribers,  I  should  imagine. 

*^  Don't  let  my  pieces  go  in  without  trimming  them  where 
they  need  it." 

The  following  reminiscences  of  Dr.  Beecher  as  a  patron 
of  the  Christian  Spectator  are  furnished  by  the  individual 
to  whom  the  preceding  letter  is  addressed : 

^^  Rev.  Chables  Bsecheb  : 
"  DsAB  Sib, — *    *    *    Your  father  was  among  the  earli- 
est, most  ardent,  and  most  efScient  patrons  of  the  Christian 
Spectator.*    I  was  editor  of  the  Christian  Spectator  for  the 

*  '*  I  have  been  surprised  to  find  that  my  memorandum  of  the  contrib- 
utors is  imperfect,  but  I  think  that  you  will  find  the  following,  so  far  as  it 
goes,  a  correct  account  of  tlie  contributions  made  by  your  father  in  the 
volumes  noted.  Vol.  I.  The  article  entitled  Opposition  to  Sin  by  Grace, 
distinguished  from  that  made  by  Natural  Conscience,  p.  13.  An  Expo- 
sition of  the  First  Commandment  of  the  Law,  p.  58.  (Tour  father^s  first 
communication  was  orer  the  signature  B.  L.  He  said,  'I  might  as  well 
say  Lyman  Beecher,  and  done  with  it/  As  he  had  lately  reoeired  a 
doctorate,  I  placed  D.D.  at  the  end  of  a  communication  which  I  hare  con- 
sidered among  the  most  valuable  of  those  made.  In  a  list  of  the  authors 
of  communications  for  the  Christian  Spectator,  made  I  know  not  by  whom, 
this  article  is  attributed  to  Professor  Fitch.)  On  Recording  Beligious 
Conversations,  p.  61.  Exposition  of  Ecclesiastes,  xi.,  1-6,  p.  119.  On 
Dancing,  p.  185.  Conversation  between  a  Clergyman  and  his  Parish- 
ioner, p.  292.  On  Gratitude  to  God,  p.  657.  Vol.  II.  On  the  Motives 
to  the  Study  of  the  Scriptures,  p.  169.  On  the  Mode  of  Studying  the 
Scriptures,  p.  169.  Review  of  a  Discourse  delivered  before  the  General 
Assembly  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  in  the  United  States  of  America, 
on  the  opening  of  their  Session  in  1820,  by  John  H.  Rice,  in  the  Kos. 
for  October  and  November.  Vol.  III.  A  Sermon  on  John,  vii.,  17,  p. 
13.    An  Allegory,  p.  19.    A  Sermon  on  2  Corinthians,  vii.,  10,  p.  115. 


COBBaSPONBXXOS,  1818-19.  381 

first' three  years,  and  was  subsequently  connected  with  it  for 
a  short  period, . . 

''It  was  in  1814  or  1815  that  I  first  saw  your  father.  I 
attended  an  evening  service  in  the  old  blue  meeting-house, 
which  stood  at  the  comer  of  Church  and  Elm  Streets,  New 
Haven,  on  the  ground  now  occupied  by  St.  John's  Block. 
I  think  that  the  sermon  was  preached  by  Dr.  M'E  wen,  from 
the  text, '  Take  us  the  foxes^  the  little  foooes^  that  spoil  the 
vines,^  The  directors  of  the  Domestic  Mission  of  Connec- 
ticut had  met  for  consultation,  and  I  suppose  our  Methodist 
and  Baptist  friends  were  the  little  foxes.  The  concluding 
prayer  was  offered  by  your  father.  I  was  impressed  by  the 
beauty,  appropriateness,  and  fervor  of  his  expressions ;  and 
when  I  inquired  respecting  his  name,  surprise  was  expressed 
that  I  did  not  know  that  it  was  Mr.  Beecher. 

''  The  next  time  I  saw  your  father  was  in  1817,  soon  after 
the  death  of  President  Dwight.  The  ministers'  meeting  of 
Litchfield  South  was  held  at  Roxbnry.  The  question  *  who 
should  be  president  of  Yale  College'  was  discussed.  The 
Rev.  Mr.  Eliot,  of  New  Milfor<d,  warmly  advocated,  and  your 
father  as  warmly  opposed  the  election  of  Hon.  Roger  Minot 
Sherman.  I  was  subsequently,  and  for  a  long  time  famil- 
iarly, acquainted  with  them  both,  and  on  no  other  occasion 
did  I  see  either  of  them  speak  with  so  much  animation. 
Your  father,  when  called  on  for  his  opinion,  took  a  paper 
from  his  pocket  and  read  it.  Ita  concluding  sentence  was 
something  like  this :  '  The  election  of  Roger  Griswold  as 
governor  was  the  first  blow  which  the  institutions  of  Con- 
necticut has  received,  and  the  election  of  Roger  Minot  Sher- 
man would  be' the  last.' 

'*In  the  summer  of  1819  I  saw  your  father  at  Litchfield. 

A  Sermon  on  2  Corinthians,  rii.,  10,  p.  179.-  On  Hardness  of  Heairt,  p. 
617.*» 


382  AT7T0SIOO1UPHT. 

I  went  from  the  hotel  to  the  cooference-room.  There  was 
the  venerable  Judge  Reeve,  leaning  on  the  top  of  his  staff, 
and  manifesting  in  his  cofmtekiance  his  veneration  and  love 
both  for  the  speaker  and  the  trath.  I  recollect  nothing 
which  your  father  said  in  his  remarks  except  this :  that  if 
a  glass  were  before  the  heart  of  each  individual  man,  so  that 
we  could  see  exactly  the  motives  which  influence  him,  that 
then  we  could,  without  mistake,  learn  his  character. 

<(  While  at  Litchfield  I  had  a  pleasant  walk  and  much  in- 
teresting conversation  with  him.  He  spoke  of  Dr.  Taylor— 
of  the  'great  pleasure  it  gave  to  see  him  coming  up;'  and 
then,  as  subsequently  I  observed,  that  his  controlling  desire 
was  to  promote  the  cause  of  human  happiness  and  salva- 
tion, and  thus  advance  the  Divine^  glory.  In  no  man  did  I 
ever  see  this  characteristic  more  prominent.  In  conversa- 
tion— in  discussion — ^in  action,  it  was  continually  presenting 
itself. 

^' In  his  study  he  spoke  of  the  methods  o£  mental  culture. 
He  said  that  it  was  not  until  he  had  been  three  years  a 
preacher  that  he  acquired  the  power  of  properly  examining, 
discussing,  and  presenting  iniportant  subjects  in  a  sermon ; 
and  showed  me,  in  folio  form,  a  volume  in  which  he  wrote 
plans,  arguments,  And  illustrations  of  discourses  which  he 
had  preadied,  and  said  that,  if  the  sermons  should  tib  burn- 
ed or  lost,  that  from  the  notes  these  contained  he  could  re- 
produce them. 

''  Tour  father  sometimes  met  with  those  more  immediate^ 
ly  engaged  in  the  conduct  of  the  *  Spectator^'  when  his  per- 
spicacity, his  frankness,  his  kindness,  and  his  wit  gave  ani- 
mation and  pleasure  to  our  consultationd.  Playful  remarks, 
in  one  or  two  instances,  occur  to  me,  but  there  are  Sufficient 
reasons  why  they  should  not  be  printed. 

"  Of  all  his  New  Haven  brethren,  to  Dr.  Taylor  your  fa- 


COBBBSPONDXNCB,  1818-19.  888 

ther  was  the  most  attached,  and  was  with  him  the  most  in- 
timate. He  seemed  unwilling  to  be  elsewhere  than  at  Dr. 
Taylor's.  I  remember  meeting  him,  at  an  early  morning 
hour,  with  a  string  of  blackfish,  with  which  he  was  return- 
ing from  Long  Wharf  to  the  doctor's,  in  suffident  season  to 
enjoy  them  at  bre^Jdast. 

^^It  was  in  the  front  parlor  of  Dr.  Taylor's  house,  and 
perhaps  some  twelve  years  since^  that  I  last  saw  your  father. 
He  spoke  of  his  past  life,  and  said  that  he  early  made  the 
sacred  engagement  that  he  would  never  permit  his  own  bus- 
iness or  interests  to  take  precedence  of  those  of  Ood.  He 
spoke  of  his  first  wife,  and  said  that  in  her  he  ^  never  saw  an 
exhibition  of  selfishness,'  a  remark  which  I  can  truly  make 
respecting  himself.  I  never  saw  a  person  who  on  all  oc- 
casions manifested  greater  disinterestedness.  He  ever  re- 
garded the  Divine  interests,  and  in  all  events  saw  the  hand 
of  God.  To  an  individual  who  conferred  a  favor  on  him  he 
s^d,  ^  I  thank  you  for  it,  and  thank  God  that  He  put  it  in 
your  heart  to  do  it.' 

*'  The  kindness  and  kind  expressions  of  your  fiither  are 
among  my  treasured  remembrances ;  and  if,  through  the 
mercy  of  God  yi  Christ,  I  shall  be  permitted  to  enter  on  the 
never-ending  happiness  of  heaven,  our  intercourse  will  doubt- 
less be  again  renewed." 


384  AVTOBIOaAArHT* 


CHAPTER  LVI. 

COBBESPONDEXCE,  1819. 

JDr.  Tayhr  to  Dr.  JBeecher. 

«<  Janaaiy  14, 1819. 

**  Dbar  Bbothbb, — ^I  am  sorry  that  you  are  not  here.  I 
came  from  Woodbury  to  see  you  and  to  talk  about  Ed- 
wards. I  expect,  however,  to  leave  your  house  before  you 
will  be  here,  and  think  I  may  as  weU  tell  you  some  of  my 
thoughts,  hoping  to  obtain  some  of  yours  in  return.         ^  ' 

^'  I  think,  in  the  first  plaoe,  it  will  be  impossible  for  ns  to 
write  what  we  wish  to  write,  and  shall  write  if  we  write  at 
all,  and  give  entire  satisfaction  to  our  brethren.  I  am  well 
satisfied  that  something  should  and  may  be  done  toward  set- 
tling points  which  Edwards  did  not  aim  to  settle,  and  which 
will,  to  some  extent,  change  the  current  of  theological  senti- 
ment. The  dissatisfaction  which  might  be  occasioned  by 
speaking  out  would,  I  think,  render  it  expedient  that  we 
should  communicate  as  correspondents  what  we  write,  and 
exempt  the  ^  Spectator'  from  responsibility  for  our  opinions. 
We  may  continue  our  communications  in  several  numbersi 
the  plan  of  which  may  be  as  follows : 

*'  I.  The  object  of  the  author,  viz.,  to  demolish  Arminian- 
ism,  all  its  pillars  resting  on  the  self-determining  power. 

^^  n.  That  he  accomplished  his  object :  show  that  he  did, 
and  haw  he  did  it.  This  will  open  a  field  for  discussion  that 
will  press  hard  in  our  days. 

"  ni.  The  great  utility  of  the  work ;  the  chief  comer- 
stone  of  New  England  orthodoxy,  and  an  impregnable  wall 


COfiBE8P02n>ENC]By  1819.  385 

to  all  itB  enemies.    Here  the  various  minute  influences  of 
the  work  may  be  traced. 

'^  rV.  The  imperfections  of  the  work :  these  consisting 
generally  in  the  fact  that  the  writer  went  no  farther  into  the 
nature  of  moral  agency ;  that  he  left  some  points — ^not,  in- 
deed, those  directly  connected  with  his  object,  but  those 
which  are  highly  important  —  unsettled,  and  almost  un- 
touched. 

''  V.  The  effects  of  these  imperfections.  The  reader  feels 
that  Edwards  has  prostrated  his  antagonists,  but  still  at  a 
loss  what  is  truth.  Perhaps  Edwards  was  wiser  than  we 
should  be.  He  evidently  felt  himself  obliged  to  go  no  fai*- 
ther  than  he  has  done.  For  example,  he  thought  it  to  be 
enough  to  show  that  certainty  of  conduct  and  moral  agency 
did  coexist  in  fact,  without  venturing  any  hypothesis  con- 
cerning the  guo  modo.  Leaving  this  untouched,  he  left  the 
loophole  for  Enmionsism.  Emmons  goes  farther  than  Ed- 
wards by  attempting  to  show  what  causes  certainty  of  ac- 
tion.   And  so  the  tasters. 

''  Having  traced  the  defects  of  Edwards,  and  shown  the 
effects  on  theological  sentiment,  we  may  peradventure, 

*'  YL  Attempt  to  supply  his  defects,  and  to  give  to  the 
world  that  desideratum  which  shall  show  that  good  sound 
Calvinism,  or,  if  you  please,  Beecherism  and  Taylorism,  is 
but  another  name  for  the  truth  and  reality  of  things  as  they 
exist  in  the  nature  of  Gk>d  and  man,  and  the  relations  aris- 
ing therefrom. 

^*  Such  is  the  outline  I  have  thought  of.  I  am  at  a  loss 
whether  it  will  fun^sh  you  any  just  idea  of  what  I  intend 
for  the  filling  up  of  the  sketch. 

**  I  will  now  give  what  I  think  are  some  of  Edwards's  de- 
fects, that  you  may  keep  them  in  your  eye  as  you  read. 
>^'^The  first  defect  is  his  definition  of  moral  agency  and 

R 


386  AUTOBIOORAPUY. 

free  will  Now  I  can  not  but  think  this  defect  even  a  gross 
one.  If  langoage  has  any  meaning,  a  free  will  is  a  will  which 
is  free,  and  to  say  that  free  will  is  a  power  to  do  as  we  please 
or  as  we  wiU  is  saying  nothing  to  the  purpose.  One  great 
reason  why  Edwards  did  not  do  more,  if  not  toward  con- 
vincing, at  least  toward  silencing  his  opponents,  is  probably 
to  be  found  in  this  imperfection.  They  had  some  floating 
ideas  about  this  point  which  they  never  fully  grasped  and 
exhibited,  which,  after  all,  were  attended  in  their  own  minds 
with  an  impression  of  their  truth  and  reality.  Had  Ed- 
wards, therefore,  instead  of  being  satisfied  with  merely  ex- 
posing their  absurdities  of  self-determination,  entered  more 
fully  into  the  nature  of  moral  agency,  showing  wherein  it 
consisted,  and  that  in  its  nature  it  was  perfectly  consistent 
with  the  connection  between  motives  and  volition,  he  had 
contributed  much  more  to  the  conviction  of  his  adversaries. 
That  he  designedly  omitted  to  do  this  will  appear  from  an- 
other defect. 

^'  In  the  second  place,  he  says  the  will  is  as  the  greatest 
apparent  good,  and  also  admits  that  the  appearing  most 
agreeable  to  the  mind  is  not  distinct  from  choice  or  voli- 
tion. He  considers  the  act  subsequent  to  volition  as  de- 
termined by  the  volition  rather  than  that  the  choice  itself 
is,  and  that  the  act  of  volition  is  determined  by  what  causes 
an  object  to  appear  most  agreeable. 

^     <^  Now,  if  this  be  true,  it  follows  that  every  thing,  so  far 

^  as  the  freedom  of  voluntary  action  is  concerned,  depends  on 

*  that  which  causes  an  object  to  appear  most  agreeable,  or,  in 

other  words,  how  it  comes  to  appear  thus.    Does  it  appear 

thus  as  a  matter  of  instinct  and  physical  necessity,  or  does 

it  appear  so  in  a  way  perfectly  consistent  with  and  essential 

to  accountable  agency? 

**  To  answer  the  inquiry  how  it  comes  to  appear  thus,  he 


» 
t 


COBRBSPCmDSKCE)  1819.  387 

says,  is  not  necessaiy  to  his  purpose.  Trae,  if  that  purpose 
be  merely  to  demolish  the  hypothesis  of  his  opponents.  Nor 
is  it  necessary,  if  it  was  his  purpose  to  show  that  it  is  enough 
to  constitute  an  accountable  agent,  that  he  has  power  to  do 
as  ho.  pleases,  come  by  his  choice  or  pleasure  as  he  may. 
This  can  not  be  true  if  there  is  a  difference  between  instinct 
and  moral  agency.  It  is  easy  to  see  that  an  object  n^ay  be- 
come most  agreeable  in  a  way  absolutely  inconsistent  with 
moral  agency.  If  the  nature  of  moral  agency  is  to  be  un- 
folded, it  is  necessary  to  show  how  an  object  comes  to  ap- 
pear most  agreeable. 

^'  Another  defect  is,  the  author  does  not  abide  by  his  own 
distinctions.  Throughout  his  treatise  he  speaks  of  the  act  < 
of  choice  as  being  the  greatest  apparent  good,  whereas  he  . 
says  that,  in  strict  propriety  of  speech,  they  are  one  and 
the  same  thing.  But,  surely,  to  talk  of  one  as  the  antece- 
dent and  cause  of  the  other,  if  they  are  one  and  the  same 
thing,  b  not  sound  philosophy. 

*^  According  to  Edwards,  the  volition  or  the  agreeable  ap- 
pearance is  determined  by  what  causes  the  agreeable  ap- 
pearance, or,  volition  is  determined  by  the  cause  of  volition. 
But  here  we  are  all  in  the  dark ;  for  what  causes  this  ap- 
pearance, i.  €.j  what  causes  volition  ?  He  has  not  told  us. 
Indeed,  I  question  whether  he  has  told  us  any  thing  which 
goes  to  show  what  the  nature  of  moral  agency  is,  any  far- 
ther than  that  it  does  not  consist  in  self-determination. 

^'  It  ought  here  to  be  mentioned  that  he  has  specified  sev- 
eral things  which  may  cause  the  agreeable  appearance,  but, 
having  done  this,  he  makes  no  account  of  this  in  unfolding 
the  nature  of  moral  agency. 

^'  Another  defect  is,  that  the  necessity  between  motive 
and  volition  does  not  prove  the  necessity  of  volition ;  for, 
although  this  connection  be  inseparable,  yet  the  necessity  of 


388  AUTOBIOGKAPHY. 

the  motive,  as  it  is  the  necessitj  of  that  which  causes  the 
agreeable  appearance,  on  which  all  depends,  must  also  be 
proved.    Emmons  supplies  this  defect. 

^^  But  I  have  no  time  to  write  more.  If  you  should  take 
hold  of  the  subject,  let  me  hear  from  jou.  I  am  sorrjc,  very 
sorry,  that  you  are  not  here,  that  we  might  talk  it  out.  But 
I  am  obliged  to  go  to  New  Milford  to-day,  so  farewell." 

Dr.  Beeeher  to  Mr.  Comdiua. 

"  Litchfield,  Augnst  12, 1819. 

"  *  *  *  Arrived  on  Thursaay,  and  found  all  well  ex- 
cept poor  Charles,  who  had  fallen  a  few  days  before  and  * 
broken  his  leg.  The  pain  is  past,  and  he  is  doing  well. 
*  *  *  I  found  a  new  state  of  feeling  had  broken  out  in 
the  Church,  which  had  prompted  numerous  associations  for 
prayer,  with  raised  hopes  and  expectations  for  a  speedy  re- 
vival. 

*^  My  hopes  are  somewhat  rused  of  seeing  the  horrible 
spirit  of  worldliness  in  the  Church  exchanged  for  weeping 
and  supplication  before  God.  *  *  *  But  I  am  not  san- 
guine ;  am  rather  waiting  to  see  what  God  will  say,  and  at-  • 
tempting,  by  His  aid,  to  prepare  my  heart  for  whatever 
work  He  may  have  for  me  to  do. 

*^  I  long  to  hear  how  you  and  your  other  self  are.  Hope 
all  is  well,  and  that  you  are  both  joyful  parents  of  a  lovely 
child.  The  birth  of  a  first-born  is  a  trying  moment.  I  have 
it  still  in  remembrance  in  respect  to  her,  much  esteemed  and 
beloved,  the  wife  now  no  more. 

^^I  am  stiir  blessed  in  a  beloved  wife.  But  I  rejoice  that 
affection  for  the  living  does  not  obliterate  the  memory,  the 
precious  memory  of  the  dead,  or  supersede  a  love  stronger 
than  death  for  the  companion  of  my  early  years,  and  that 
this  tenderness  is  one  also  that  practices  no  fraud  upon  the 


COBBE8PONDBNCE,  1819.  389 

rights  of  the  living  whom  God  has  most  meroifally  given 
me. 

^^I  wish  to  hear,  also,  whether  the  fire  kindles  in  yonr 
own  heart  and  in  your  Church.  Oh,  my  brother,  we  are 
weak  without  the  Spirit,  and  I  am  terrified  at  the  shaking 
of  a  leaf  when  the  presence  of  God  is  withdrawn  from  his 
churches.  The  world,  in  that  case,  is  mighty,  irritable,  im- 
patient of  truth,  rebuke,  or  restraint^  and  malignant  in  its 
opposition  to  the  GospeL  Unitarians  will  gain  the  victory 
if  we  are  left  without  revivals,  but  they  will  perish  by  the 
breath  of  His  mouth  and  the  brightness  of  His  coming  if  re- 
vivals prevaQ. 

^'  The  sermon  I  did  all  .to  prepare  for  the  press  that  was 
possible  in  so  short  time.  The  last  day  at  Andover  I  broke 
down  almost.  Was  obliged  to  omit,  as  you  will  perceive, 
several  points  on  which  I  intended  to  have  touched,  and 
turned  my  fire  from  Cambridge  to  another  point  only  on 
condition  that,  if  ^Aey  do  not  blow  themselves  up,  a  regular 
and  powerful  assault  will  be  made  in  due  time  to  rouse  the 
slumbering  comnranity,  and  withdraw  totally  the  support 
of  the  Church." 

Dr,  Beecher  to  WiUiam. 

<* Litchfield,  Febmaiy  6, 1819. 

^'  My  dsab  Sok, — ^I  write  to  assure  you  that,  though  si- 
lent for  a  long  time,  I  have  not  ceased  to  remember  you 
daily  with  paternal  affection,  and  I  rejoice  that  I  am  not 
compelled  to  add,  as  some  parents  might  be,  with  distress- 
ing solicitude. 

^^  Your  moral  conduct,  I  hope  and  trust,  is  exemplary,  and 
your  professional  ability  and  fidelity  such  as  will  render  you 
acceptable  to  your  friend  the  deacon.  You  will  not  forget 
that  coiitinuance  in  well-doing  is  quite  as  indispensable  to 


990  ACTOmOOKAPHT. 

jour  raooew  as  a  good  begnming.  HaTing  guned  a  good 
place  by  carefulness  and  attention,  joa  most  not  grow  re- 
niias  in  dq)endence  upon  yonr  past  good  condqct  If  I  have 
preached  to  the  past  acoq>tance  of  my  people^  eAca  onlj 
makes  it  the  more  necessary  that  t  study  and  continae  to 
preach  well ;  sad  if  I  should  grow  remiss  and  run  down, 
the  contrast  with  my  former  labors  would  render  my  poor 
services  more  intolerable.    So  in  your  case.    *    *    * 

*'Bnt  remember,  also,  that  the  most  perfect  honesty  and 
the  most  correct  morality  are  nothing,  and  will  profit  you 
nothing,  in  God*s  account  without  love,  repentance,  and  faith. 
Though,  on  account  of  your  moral  conduct,  I  feel  a  confi- 
dence in  yon  which  exempts  me  from  distressing  solicitude, 
I  can  not  say  that  I  feel  none  with  regard  to  your  future 
and  eternal  well-being.  On  that  subject  I  do  feel  a  daily 
solicitude,  and  the  more  so  now  as  I  see  others  who  are 
young  attending  to  the  things  that  belong  to  their  peace, 
and  am  made  the  happy  instrument  of  accomplishing  their 
salvation. 

^'  But  while  I  am  as  successful  as  most  ministers  in  bring- 
ing the  sons  and  daughters  of  others  to  Christ,  my  heart 
sinks  within  me  at  the  thought  that  every  one  of  my  own 
dear  children  are  without  God  in  the  world,  and  without 
Christ,  and  without  hope.  I  have  no  child  prepared  to  die ; 
and  however  cheering  their  prospects  for  time  may  be,  how 
can  I  but  weep  in  secret  places  when  I  realize  that  their 
whole  eternal  existence  is  every  moment  liable  to  become 
an  existence  of  unchangeable  sinfulness  and  woe. 

*^The  revival  at  Bradleysville  is  progressing,  and  there  is 
a  prospect  that  the  work  will  extend  through  the  congrega- 
tion. Myson,donotdelay  the  work  of  preparation.  Awake 
to  the  care  of  your  soul.  Time  flies ;  sin  hardens ;  procras- 
tination deceives.    Ton  occupy  that  period  of  life  m  which 


COBBBSPONDENCB,  1819.  301 

there  is  more  hope  t&an  in  any  other.  Bo  not  put  o^  the 
i^ubject.  *  *  *  I  talked  and  prayed  with  Edward  be- 
fore he  left  home,  and  shall  attend  to  Catharine,  and  Mary, 
and  George,  and  Harriet,  with  the  hope  that  Grod  will  bless 
them  with  salvation.  A  family  so  numerous  as  ours  is  a 
broad  mark  for  the  an-ows  of  Death.  I  feel  afraid  that  one 
or  more  of  you  may  die  suddenly,  and  I  be  called  to  mourn 
over  you  without  hope.  I  do  not  know  how  I  can  bear  it. 
'To  commit  a  child  to  the  grave  is  trying,  but  to  do  it  with- 
out one  ray  of  hope  concerning  their  future  state,  it  seems 
to  me,  would  overwhelm  me  beyond  the  power  of  endur- 
ance. None  but  God  could  support  me  in  such  an  hour. 
But,  oh  my  son,  save  me  from  such  an  hour  on  your  account. 
Let  me  not,  if  you  should  be  pretnaturely  cut  down,  be  call- 
ed to  stand  in  despair  by  your  dying  bed,  to  weep  without 
hope  over  your  untimely  grave.  Awake,  I  beseech  yoo,  my 
dear  son,  and  fly  to  Christ.  So  your  affectionate  father 
prays  with  weeping." 


902  AUTOBlOa&APHT. 


CHAPTER  LVn. 

THS  TOLEBATION  DBSIAM. 

Thb  political  excitement  in  Connecticut  still  continued  to 
run  high.  Politics  formed  the  staple  of  conversation  at 
home  and  abroad^  with  old  and  young.  Dr.  Beecher  was 
too  thorough-going  a  Federalist,  and  too  stanch  a  defender 
of  the  standing  order,  to  refrain  wholly  from  mixing  in  the 
strife.  More  than  one  effusion  from  his  pen  found  its  way 
into  print.  Among  these  lie  was  fond  of  referring  to  the 
following  dream,  a  production  characteristio  at  once  of  the 
times  and  of  the  man. 

TOLEBATION. 

*'Thia  famed  little  word  hath  four  syllables  in  it, 
And  a  fal-de-ral  Toi  is  the  first  to  begin  it ; 
Little  e  is  pat  next — as  a  link  it  was  done, 
For  those  who  cry  Tol  to  tack  to  it  ra-tion. 

**  There  are  tolerant  freemen  and  tolerant  slaves, 
There  are  tolerant  dances  and  tolerant  knaves, 
There  are  tolerant  bigots  who  constantly  ran, 
And  seek  throngh  /n-tolerance  Tolbbation. 

<*  Some  tolerate  virtue,  some  tolerate  vice. 
Some  tolerate  truth,  some  tolerate  lies, 
Some  tolerate  religion,  some  tolerate  none, 
And  the  test  of  all  faith  is  their  Tolebation. 

"If  any  should  be  curious  to  know  whence  we  derived 
our  materials  for  the  illustration  of  this  most  renowned  of 
words,  be  it  known  to  them  they  were  not  boiTowed  from 
Old  England,  but  are  entirely  of  domestic  origin.    Indeed, 


THE  TOLBRATION  DBBAH.  898 

no  example  can  be  more  in  point  to  illostrate  the  change  of 
meaning  to  which  the  same  word  is  incident  than  the  mean- 
ing of  the  word  TolercUian  as  used  in  England  and  in  Con- 
necticut. In  England  it  means  the  permission  granted  to 
the  minor  sects  there  to  build  meeting-houses,  support  their 
own  clergy,  and  worship  God  in  their  own  way,  when  they 
shall  have  paid  their  due  proportion  with  the  Episcopalians 
for  the  support  of  the  national  Episcopal  Church  as  by  law 
established,  provided  always  that  no  one  of  a  minor  sect 
shall  be  eligible  to  a  seat  in  Parliament,  or  liable  to  hold 
any  office  of  honor  or  profit  whatever  in  the  gift  of  the  gov- 
ernment, civil,  military,  or  navaL  After  paying  tithes,  and 
being  stripped  of  all  the  rights  of  freemen  but  that  of  legal 
protection  and  the  privilege  of  voting  for  Episcopalians  to 
rule  over  them,  the  Baptists,  and  Methodists,  and  Congre- 
gationalists  are  tolerated  in  worshiping  God  according  to 
the  dictates  of  their  own  consciences. 

^^  Should  the  curiosity  of  any  still  stand  on  tiptoe  to  learn 
by  what  authorities  we  substantiate  the  diversified  modem 
meanings  of  the  word,  and  how  we  have  obtained  them,  they 
will  doubtless  smile  when  we  make  known  to  them  that  it 
was  all  accomplished  in  a  dream. 

^^  In  my  dream  I  heard  a  trumpet  more  hoarse  and  loud 
than  that  which  battles  words  from  ship  to  ship  in  spite  of 
whistling  winds  or  roaring  waves.  I  listened,  and  the  syl- 
lables of  TOL-E-RA-TION  came  with  such  thundering  ac- 
centuation upon  my  ears  that  I  could  scarcely  hear  them  or 
hold  my  head  still  while  they  beat  upon  it.  I  looked,  and 
behold  a  banner,  high  raised  and  unfurled,  disclosing  on  its 
broad  surface,  in  capitals  as  big  as  the  voice  of  the  trumpet, 
the  syllables 

'  TOLERATION.' 
I  had  not  time  to  wonder  before  a  noise  Uke  the  muftitudin- 

R2 


394  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

OTIS  waves  of  the  ocean  rolled  on  mj  ear,  and  a  procession 
opened  on  my  eyes, which  tapered  offin  distant  perspective 
to  a  point.  Onward  it  came ;  and  ever  and  anon  the  tram- 
pet  from  the  standard-top  rolled  down  Toleration  npon  the 
throngs  and  the  throng,  electrified,  rolled  back  Toleration 
to  the  trumpet.  Who  bore  the  standard,  and  who  blew  the 
trumpet,  why  should  I  tell  ?    Let  that  matter  rest. 

*^As  the  van  of  this  endless  procession  drew  nigh,  my 
heart  throbbed  hard  against  my  breast,  and  made  many  at- 
tempts to  leap  out  from  my  mouth,  and  for  a  moment  I  knew 
not  whether  to  fight  or  fly,  or  to  clap  my  hands  and  cry 
« TOLERATION !'  I  finally  concluded  to  do  neither,  but 
to  reconnoitre.  .  Then,  approaching  the  standard-bearer  and 
making  a  profound  bow,  I  humbly  'asked  him  to  tell  me  the 
meaning  of  that  great  word  upon  his  banner,  in  the  mouth 
of  the  trumpet,  and  in  the  mouths  of  all  who  followed. 

«(«The  meaning!'  said  he;  Mt  means  any  thing  that  any 
mortal  can  desire  or  hope.  It  embodies  the  treasures  of 
creation,  and  showers  universal  munificence  upon  the  hith- 
erto wretched  State  of  Connecticut.'  I  told  him  I  belonged 
to  the  Congregational  order,  and  desired  its  preservation 
and  prosperity.  He  shook  his  head,  and  said  ^  he  could  not 
say  Toleration  meant  that.'  I  told  him  that  I  had  hoped  to 
see  the  laws  against  Sabbath-breaking,  adultery,  and  drunk- 
enness more  strictly  executed.  He  reddened  at  the  sound, 
and  told  me,  with  a  fiashing  eye,  Hhat  Toleratiofi  meant  no 
such  thing.'  I  became  still  more  alarmed,  and  begged  him 
to  tell  me  at  once  what  it  did  mean.  ^  It  means,'  said  he, 
hastily,  *any  thing  which  any  man  in  this  procession  most  de- 
sires. As  for  us  who  blow  the  trumpet  and  bear  the  stand- 
ard, it  means  what  we  have  long  intended  and  will  now  ac- 
complish, though  *'  we  march  through  the  sacramental  table." 

« « What  is  that  ?'  I  asked.    *  To  put  down  the  clergy,' 


THE  tolbbahon  dream.  '  395 

he  replied.  -  ^  Does  it  mean  persecution,  then  V  ^  It  means 
whatever  is  necessary  to  put  down  the  clergy.'  'Why 
should  you  put  the  clergy  down  ?  what  evil  have  they  done  ?' 
With  a  look  of  vengeance,  he  demanded,  *•  Has  a  Deist,  or  a 
drunkard,  or  an  adulterer  ever  been  able  to  rise  with  the' 
same  facility  as  professing  Christians  and  moral  men  ?'  I 
felt  a  glow  of  secret  pride  while  I  answered '  NO.' 

'* '  No,'  he  responded,  red  with  indignation, '  nor  will  they 
while  the  clergy  live  in  the  state ;  and  they  shall  not  live  in 
it;  we  will  drive  them  out,'  said  he,  with  a  stamp  of  the  foot 
that  shook  the  ground,  and  had  like  to  have  put  an  end  to 
my  dream.  '  We  have,'  he  continued, '  done  sufficient  pen- 
ance in  this  priest-ridden  state.  To  save  our  credit  we  have 
been  obliged  to  assume  the  Christian  name,  and  have  skulk- 
ed about  from  one  denomination  to  another,  making  bows  to 
the  clergy,  paying  taxes,  and  giving  gifts.  If  we  would  take 
a  little  pleasure  out  of  the  common  way  (as  King  Charles 
would  say),  we  have  been  compelled  to  surrender  all  hopes 
of  preferment.  We  could  not  swear  louder  than  a  mouse 
could  squeak  without  looking  round  to  see  if  no  priest  or 
deacon  were  near.  We  have  never  had  sufficient  elbow-, 
room  in  this  holy  state.  From  the  beginning,  no  man  jcould 
hold  an  office  and  occupy  one  half  the  broad  road.  We 
have  been  hemmed  in  by  latoa  and  steady  habitSy  and  been 
compelled  to  go  to  hell  in  a  road  not  much  wider  than  the 
narrow  path  to  life. 

'' '  But  we  have  gained  a  victory  which  has  put  an  end 
to  the  reign  of  priests  and  deacons,  and  which  will  make 
the  road  to  office  as  broad  and  as  easy  as  the  road  to  hell 
— a  victory  which  shall  stop  the  tide  of  emigration  to  the 
West,  and  bring  back  some  choice  spirits  whom  the  intol- 
erant laws  of  this  state  have  compelled  to  flee.  Our  friend 
from  Farmington  may  now  return,  repurchase  his  land,  and 


396  '  AUTOBIOOBAPHY. 

dwell  at  ease  in  this  once  hol^  state.'  ^  Pray,  sir,'  said  I, 
*  since  you  have  gotten  the  victory  in  spite  of  priests  and 
deacons,  why  not  now  let  them  peaceably  live  in  Connecti- 
cut?' ^Because  we  can  not  maintain  the  victory  if  they 
continue.  Religion  must  be  disgraced  before  infidels  can 
bear  rule.'  ^  But  are  you  quite  certain  that  you  can  expel 
the  clergy  ?  They  have  many  fiiends,  and  most  societies 
feel  that  the  destruction  of  the  house  of  God  and  ordinances 
of  religion  would  depreciate  their  property  to  four  times  the 
amount  it  requires  to  maintain  religion.' 

«*  ^It  is  half  accomplished  already,'  said  he.  *  We  have 
cut  off  the  young  men  by  the  Constitution  from  any  rela- 
tion to  Christianity,  in  any  form  at  all,  more  than  if  they 
were  bom  in  Turkey.  We  have  thrown  them  back  into  a 
state  of  nature,  where,  by  argument  and  ridicule,  and  their 
own  covetousness  and  indifference  to  religion,  we  shall  be 
able  to  keep  them  till  their  bigoted  fathers  are  dead,  and 
the  clergy  left  to  emigrate  or  starve.  But  we  have  other 
help.  Do  you  see  that  endless  procession  ?  They  will  all 
help  us.' 

^*  My  indignation  rose.  ^  Thou  child  of  the  devil  1'  I  ex- 
claimed, '4ost  thou  accuse  half  of  the  freemen  of  Connec- 
ticut of  being  Deists,  and  the  patrons  of  irreligion  and  im- 
morality V  ^  Oh  no,'  said  he ;  ^  we  turn  you  Christiana  to 
the  best  possible  account.  It  b  by  your  contentions  with 
one  another  that  we  have  gotten  the  victory,  and  it  is  by 
your  contentions  that  we  shall  keep  it.  We  bear  with  you 
ip  our  ranks  because  you  serve  to  conceal  our  designs,  and 
as  a  decoy  to  our  standards  We  labored  in  vain  twenty 
years,  and  were  at  the  point  of  death,  till  we  succeeded  to 
bring  the  religionists  of  th&  state  to  war  upon  one  another. 
Then  religion  kicked  the  beam,  and  '^  Reason  and  Pnn.os- 
OPHY^'  began  thdr  reign.' 


THS  TOLBBATION  DBEAM.  ,  807 

**  ^Then,'  replied  I,  'you  are  at  the  point  of  death  still, 
for,  as  the  Lord  liveth,  ChristiaDS  will  cpntend  with  Chiis- 
tians  no  more.  Too  long  have  we  been  puppets  in  the  hands 
of  demagogues.  We  will  now  conciliate,  explain,  concede, 
and  unite  to  serve  our  Lord.  He  that  died  for  us  shall  no 
more  be  wounded  in  the  house  of  his  friends.  Our  party- 
shall  be  the  party  of  our  Savior ;  our  side,  the  side  of  the 
Lord.  Our  standard,  the  cross;  our  motto,  *' the  love  of 
Christ  constraineth,  and  charity,  that  bond  of  perfection, 
unites  us.''  Our  point  of  concert  shall  be  the  table  of  our 
Lord,  and  our  work  the  salvation  of  the  world.' 

^^ '  You  can  not  do  it,'  says  he.  ^  You  are  too  selfish  and 
irritable,  too  petulant  and  violent.  You  all  want  all;  and 
by  your  proselyting  zeal  and  bitterness,  we  can  make  you 
do  our  work  better  than  ourselves.  It  never  prospers  more 
than  when  Christians  revile  Christians,  and  bite  and  devour 
one  another.' 

^^ '  We  will  stop,'  replied  I,  ^  and  repair  the  seamless  gar- 
ment torn  by  our  unhappy  feuds.'  *You  will  not  stop,' 
said  he,  ^  until  it  is  torn  to  fragments  and  scattered  to  the 
winds.  Oh  Philosophy,  what  a  triumph  hast  thou  gained 
in  Connecticut  over  the  Nazarenel'  I  told  him  X  would 
proclaim  what  he  had  said,  and  blow  the  trumpet  of  alarm. 

^^ '  It  is  too  late,'  he  replied.  '  Religious  prejudices  are 
up ;  political  feelings  are  awake,  and  the  lines  are  drawn. 
We  control  all  the  papers  our  party  are  suffered  to  read, 
and  for  twenty  years  have  assailed,  through  the  medium 
of  party  spirit,  the  shield  of  faith,  without  alarming  their 
fears,  and  with  entire  impunity.  They  will  not  believe 
proof  strong  as  holy  writ.  Our  contradictions  in  our  pa- 
pers will  quiet  every  fear  and  allay  every  suspicion.  Under 
the  guise  of  helping  minor  sects,  and  putting  down  intol- 
erance, we  can  render  religion  contemptible.    And  as  to 


398  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

yoar  striviDg  to  save  the  world,  let  me  tell  you,  yon  have 
seen  your  best  days.  Your  Bible  societies,  and  your  mis- 
sionary societies,  and  education  societies,  and  moral  socie- 
ties, and  tract  societies,  we  shall  put  them  down.  By  the 
dropping  of  your  papers,  we  shall  array  against  them  the 
public  sentiment,  and  when  that  is  done  we  shall  put  them 
down  by  law ;  and  soon  after  we  shall  put  down  Calvinism, 
and  conference  meetings,  and  revivals.' 

^^ '  I  hope,'  said  I, '  that,  when  the  Congregationalists  are 
y  gone,  you  will  tolerate  the  Baptists.  They  are  embarked  in 
foreign  and  domestic  missions ;  they  are  united  in  the  same 
doctrinal  views  with  the  Congregationalists ;  they  love  con- 
ference meetings  and  revivals,  and,  according  to  their  num- 
bers, are  equally  favored  with  the  blessing  of  God  as  our- 
selves. It  will  be  some  consolation,  when  we  are  gone,  to 
see  them  strong  in  the  Lord,  contending  for  the  faith  once 
delivered  to  the  saints,  and  for  which  our  fathers  once  bled 
and  died.'  ^  One  at  a  time,'  he  replied:  ^  We  shall  tolerate 
the  Baptists  until  the  Congregationalists  are  dpwn.  It  will 
be  an  easy  matter  then  to  dispose  of  them.  We  intend  they 
shall  help  us  to  dig  your  grave  deep  enough  to  hold  you 
both.' 

^'At  this  moment  my  soul  was  troubled.  ^Sir,'  said  I, 
*  I  beseech  you,  let  the  Methodists  live.  They  do  not  indeed 
preach  what  your  friend  Joshua  has  styled  the  "  cursed  doc- 
trine of  election,"  but  they  do  preach  the  necessity  of  a 
change  of  heart,  and  have  conference  meetings,  and  reviviUs 
of  religion,  and  preach  against  Sabbath-breaking,  drunken- 
ness, and  adultery,  and  include  in  their  churches  numbers  of 
the  ardent  friends  of  Jesus;  and  as  to- missions,  they  are 
one  great  missionary  society.  To  India,  to  Africa,  the  West 
Indies,  and  to  the  destitute  settlements  in  our  own  land, 
they  have  sent  the  Word  of  Life,  and  have  been  indefatigar 


THB  TOLERATION  DBBAH.  399 

ble  pioneers  of  the  cross.  If  the  Congregationalists  most 
be  dishonored,  let  favor  be  shown,  I  beseech  yon,  sir,  to  the 
Methodists.'  ^They  shall  be  favored,'  said  he,  *  till  you  are 
both  under  ground,  and  then,  if  they  do  not  give  up  their 
night  meetings,  and  camp  meetings,  and  leave  off  preaching 
hell  and  damnation,  we  shall  soon  put  them  in  the  pit  with 
their  fanatical  brethren.' 

^^  *  Oh,  sir,'  said  I,  ^  let  thy  servant  speak  this  once.  I  be- 
seech you  let  the  Episcopalians  live.  The  government  can 
not  stand  without  religion  in  some  form.  If  Christianity  be 
exiled,  superstiti6n  will  reign ;  if/God  be  not  worshiped,  de- 
mons will  be,  and  impurity  and  blood  will  be  in  their  wor- 
ship. The  Thirty-nine  Articles  are  strictly  orthodox,  and 
the  Liturgy  and  Homilies  breathe  the  pure  spirit  of  the  Ar- 
ticles and  of  the  Bible.  In  England,  the  Episcopalians  are 
among  the  most  efficient  friends  of  the  great  Bible  Society ; 
and  in  this  land  many  of  their  bishops  and  most  distinguish- 
ed laymen  are  among  the  patrons  of  the  National  Bible  So- 
ciety. They  have  commenced,  also— ^^  too  late"  their  good 
bishops  say — the  work  of  missions  to  the  new  settlements ; 
have  established  a  seminary  for  the  education  of  poor  and 
pio«s  youth  for  the  ministry,  to  be  sustained  by  donations 
and  auxiliary  associations,  male  and  female.  And  in  this 
State  of  Connecticut  they  have  established  Sunday-schools, 
also  a  Bible  and  Common  Prayer-book  Society,  to  be  sus- 
tained by  contributions  in  their  churches ;  and  there  are  in 
their  communion  very  many  worthy  men  and  excellent 
Chiistians.  Let  Episcopacy,  then,  become  the  established 
religion  of  the  state.' 

**  *  We  intend  it  shall  be  the  state  religion,'  said  he, '  until 
our  views  are  more  fully  consummated.  In  the  mean  while 
we  have  no  great  objection  to  being  nominal  Christians  our- 
selves, or,  as  one  of  my  friends  has  elegantly  expressed  it. 


400  AUTOBIOaBAPHT. 

to  go  tbroagh  the  manual  exercise  once  in  seven  days  (for  a 
few  Sabbaths  before  election,  at  least,  provided  also  we  may 
go  to  Presbyterian  meetings  occasionally,  should  there  be 
any)  to  secure  votes,  and  for  the  more  full  accomplishment 
of  our  designs.  And  when  we  have  got  things  in  a  sure 
train,  we  shall  permit  this  or  that  sect  to  have  the  ascend- 
ency,  as  will  best  promote  our  own  power  and  their  mutual 
jealousies.  In  this  way  we  intend  to  make  them  destroy 
each  other,  and  the  way  will  then  be  prepared  for  the  uni* 
versal  reign  of  reason  and  philosophy.' 

^^ '  But  what  will  you  do  with  the  laws,  sir  ?'  I  demanded. 
^They  are  full  of  puritanic  precision,  and  will  forever  make 
irreligion  and  profligacy  a  bar  to  office.'  He  laughed  in  my 
N  face.  '  What  are  laws,'  said  he,  >  unexecuted,  and  who  will 
•  execute  your  puritanic  laws,  when  we  have  turned  out  your 
cfeoccm-juBtices  and  grand  jurors  ?  It  was  always  as  much 
as  they  could  do  to  maintain  their  efficacy ;  but  when  we 
shall  have  filled  their  places  with  men  who  can  swear  a  lit- 
tle, and  drink  a  little,  and  travel  a  little  on  the  puritanic  day 
of  rest,  and  wink  at  crimes  a  little  for  fear  of  losing  votes, 
what  shall  we  have  to  fear?  Your  religionists  may  pray 
and  &8t  if  they  please,  but  we  shall  reign,  and  the  laws  shall 
sleep,  until,  in  ten  years,  by  the  death  of  bigots,  and-the  in- 
crease of  philosophy,  we  can  blot  them  from  our  statute- 
books.' 

^  I  was  humbled  in  spirit  at  these  words,  and  wept. 
'Oh. my  beloved  native  state,'  I  exclaimed,  'how  art  thou 
fallen !  Thy  narrow  limits  .forbid  thee  to  be  powerful,  and 
thy  hard  surfiEice  precludes  the  spontaneous  munificence  of 
Heaven,  and  forbids  the  accession  of  great  commemal 
wealth.  Thy  fTtoro^jEMHo^r  has  been  thy  glory.  Thy  relig- 
ion, thy  science,  and  thy  schools,  sacred  to  virtue — ^thy  Sab- 
baths of  unbroken  silence — ^thy  sanctuaries  illuminated  by 


THE  TOUEBAXION  DBEABf.  401 

the  Oospel,  and  thy  towns  and  villages  of  temperance  and 
industry,  of  contentment  and  competence,  have  made  thee 
great  and  happy.  But  thou  art  divided  against  thyself.  Thy 
little  sons  could  not  hope  to  rise  but  by  thy  degradation ; 
thy  irreligU>U8  sons  without  pouring  contempt  upon  thy  re- 
ligion ;  and  thy  profligate  sons  but  by  enticing  thee  to  burst 

the  bands  of  Christ,  and  cast  his  cords  from  thee.^ 

*        *        *        * 

'^  I  next  approached  a  good-natured,  smiling  gentleman, 
whose  countenance  bespoke  an  uncommon  fund  of  self-com- 
placency, and  begged  him  to  tell  me  the  whole  meaning  of 
that  great  word,  that  so  filled  the  eye,  and  ear,  and  air. 
*•  Oh  nothing,  nothing,*  said  he ;  'it  means  just  nothing  at 
aU.  But  then,  as  friend  Jefferson  used  to  say,  there  are 
but  two  ways  of  governing  men :  one  by  the  sword,  as  they 
do  in  Europe,  which  is  indeed  the  best  way ;  and  th^  other 
by  deception,  which,  as  we  are  not  quite  ripe  enough  for  a 
military  despotism,  we  must  practice  until  we  are.'  I  told 
him  that  the  people  of  Connecticut  wer6  a  peculiai;]ly  saga- 
cious and  enlightened  people,  and  that  I  did  no^  believe  they 
could  be  governed  by  deception. 

'*  *  Oh,'  said  he,  smiling,  ^  you  know  nothing  about  hu- 
man nature.  Connecticut  people  are  like  all  other  people ; 
they  were  made  to  be  deceived,  and  they  love  to  be  de- 
ceived, and,  until  we  can  govern  them  in  a  more  summary 
manner,  they  ahaU  be  deceived.  And  nothing  is  more  easy. 
Look  at  that  procession,'  he  continued.  '  You  do  not  see 
a  hun4redth  part  of  it.  It  contains  nearly  half  of  the  free- 
men of  the  state,  all  fierce  for  toleration^  and  no  two  of 
them,perhaps,  understanding  the  term  alike.  We  give  it 
that  meaning  which  suits  every  man  best,  and  by  the  de- 
ceptive influence  of  a  name  have  embodied  this  numerous 
multitude.    Do  but  take  your  tablet  and  sit  down,  and  ask 


402  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

of  the  passing  mnltitade  what  they  expect,  and  what  they 
understand  by  tolercUian^  and  my  words  will  be  verified.' 

"As  I  opened  my  tablet,  a  sudden  illumination  broke  upon 
it,  and  a  warmer  vein  of  atmosphere  seamed  to  inclose  me. 
I  looked,  and  beheld  a  little  tenement  upon  wheels  moving 
slowly  toward  the  place  where  I  stood.  Within  and  with- 
out, on  every  side,  was  a  company  of  men  with  such  blazing 
noses  and  burning  breath  that  they  seemed  to  add  both  to 
the  light  and  heat  of  the  sun.  They  were  armed  with  jugs, 
and  bottles,  and  tumblers,  and  wine  -  glasses,  which  they 
brandished  with  fearless  courage  and  constancy,  projecting, 
as  they  passed,  the  waving  line  of  beauty,  and  drowning,  as 
they  shouted  *  Toleration,*  even  the  voice  of  the  trumpet. 

^'I  approached  the  door  of  the  tenement,  and,  with  a  look 
of  surprise,  demanded  of  the  man  who  dealt  out  the  irufpira- 
tion^  *  Friend,  are  you  not  aware  that  you  violate  the  laws 
of  the  state  ?'  ^  Laws  of  the  state !'  he  replied ;  ^  what  have 
I  to  do  with  the  laws  of  the  state  ?  Has  not  toleration  gain- 
ed the  victory  ?*  The  falling  tear  answered  *  yes.*  *  Well,' 
said  he,  ^yot<  may  whine,  but  I  shall  sell  rum.  I  have  news 
from  head-quarters,  and  have  nothing  to  fear.  Besides,  the 
laws  on  this  subject  are  soon  to  be  repealed.* 

'*  I  turned  to  the  unhappy  crowd  around  me,  and  inquired, 
'  My  dear  fellow-men,  what  do  you  want  ?'  *  Toleration,* 
they  all  bawled  in  ray  ear  at  once.  *  What  is  that?*  said  I. 
*Down  with  the  laws  against  selling  rum — down  with  the 
penalties  against  being  merry,*  they  all  responded.  ^  Alas!*  I  \ 
exclaimed, '  have  you  not  liberty  enough  now  ?  What  harm 
do  the  laws  do  when  nobody  executes  them  ?*  *  Ay,*  said  ^ 
they,  as  they  reeled  along,  ^but  the  principle ;  we  can  not 
bear  laws  in  the  statute-book  wrong  in  principle.  We  can 
not — ^in  conscience  we  can  not — ^for,  though  we  drink  with- 
out fear  or  restraint,  who  knows  whether  our  children  may 


THB  TOLBBATIOK  DBEAM.  403 

be  allowed  to  do  so  when  we  are  dead'.  We  conteiid  for 
the  right  of  unborn  generations  to  drink  when  they  please, 
and  as  mach  as  they  please.' 

^*  As  I  stepped  back  from  this  atmosphere  of  mm,  I  per- 
ceived a  number  of  ^hermen  in  a  wagon,  mending  their 
nets.  ^  Where  are  yon  going  ?'  I  asked.  ^  To  Connecticat 
River.  It  is  the  Sabbath  to-morrow,  and  we  are  getting 
ready.'  *  For  what  ?'  I  eagerly  interrupted  them.  *  To  make 
money,'  they  replied ;  ^for,  now  that  we  have  gained  tolera^ 
tion^  we  have  seven  days  to  work  in  instead  of  six.'  I  said, 
*•  My  friends,  God  has  commanded  you  to  keep  the  Sabbath 
holy,  and  He  will  punish  you  if  you  break  it.'  '  We  will 
risk  that,'  they  replied.  ^  But  it  is  against  the  law  of  the 
state.'  ^  Law  of  the  state  1'  said  they,  sneeringly ;  ^  who  will 
execute  it  ?  Besides,  we  have  been  told  from  ahead  that  it 
shall  soon  be  repealed.' 

"  While  I  was  yet  speaking,  *  crack  I'  went  a  whip,  and  a 
stage  full  of  people  passed,  shouting,  'Down  with  the  Sab- 
bath !  down  with  cfeocon-justices  I  We  are  going  to  Hart- 
ford, by  the  way  of  Farmington,'  said  they.  '  If  the  new 
bridge  is  done,  we  will  go  over  it ;  and  if  not,  we  will  stay 
and  help  them,  if  they  will  give  us  wages.'    ♦    ♦    * 

''As  they  passed  on,  a  most  miserable  sight  met  mine 
eye — a  procession,  borne  on  wagons,  consumptive,  paralytic, 
asthmatic,  and  squalid.  '  Whence  are  yo.u  ?'  demanded  I,  as 
they  drew  near.  'From  the  poor-house.'  'And  whither 
do  you  go ?'  'To  town-meeting,  to  lay  an  eigJU  cent  tax. 
We  live  too  poor,  but  it  is  Toleration  now :  and,  since  we 
too  can  vote,  we  shall  have  better  times.'  As  they  passed, 
1  perceived  they  had  in  the  head  wagon  a  banner  floating, 
with  this  motto:  ^Let  tlie  farmers  earn  the  money ^ and  t/ie 
toorthlesa  spend  U?  A  long  procession  of  lawyers,  mechan- 
ics, and  merchants  next  passed  me,  with  a  standard  inscribed 


404  AUTOBIOaSAPBY. 

with  this  motto :  ^  Ute  new  TaacrbiU;  or^  let  us  dance,  and 
make  tlie  farmers  pay  thefiddUr;  Yankee  Doodle,  kuzzahP 
As  I  was  thinking  how  the  fanners  would  like '  to  pay  the 
fiddler^  for  a  Toleration  dance,  1  perceived  a  standard  ap- 
proaching with  this  motto :  ^  We  can -not  teait ;  now  or  nev- 
er.'  I  approached  the  bearer,  and  inquired  what  was  the 
meaning  of  that  great  word  Toleration* 

"  ^  It  has  pleased  the  God  of  heaven,'  said  he,  ^  to  ordain, 
without  our  consent,  a  vast  inequality  of  intellect  among 
men,-  which  in  many  other  states,  to  be  sure,  has  been  no 
impediment  to  office ;  but  in  this  holy  state  it  has  been  so 
constantly  thundered  from  the  pulpit  in  the  ears  of  the  peo- 
ple that  they  must  seek  able  men  to  rule  over  them,  that  we 
have  always  been  kept  in  the  background.' 

«« ^  Now  we  daim,  may  it  please  your  worship,'  said  an- 
other, '  that  all  men  are  entitled  to  equal  privileges ;  and 
since  it  has  pleased  the  Most  High  ^'  for  to"  bestow  upon  us 
less  intellect,  it  would  be  unjust  to  make  up  the  inequality 
by  money  and  honor ;  and  as  some  religionists  hold  that  the 
decrees  of  God  can  be  broken,  we  are  going  to  make  the 
experiment  whether  the  tail  may  not  become  the  head,  and 
the  affiurs  of  the  government  be  made  hereafter  to  advance 
backward.^ 

*<  While  thinking  how  an  animal  would  look  advancmg 
backwardj  and  following  the  tail  instead  of  the  head,  my  at- 
tention was  diverted  by  a  company  of  men  with  crow-bars, 
pick-axe,  and  shovel,  moving  hastily,  their  eyes  flashing 
fire.  ^  Where  are  you  going?'  I  asked.  ^  To  pull  down  the 
platform,'  saia  one  of  them.  ^  Sir,'  said  I,  ^  that  platform 
jcontains  the  doctrines,  discipline,  and  worship  of  the  Prot- 
estant Congregational  Church  of  Connecticut — ^that  large, 
ancient,  and  most  respectable  denomination.  I  have  long 
apprehended  that  a  conspiracy  was  formed  against  our  plain. 


.     THB  TOLXB^rnON  DSBAH.  405 

primitive  mode  of  worship,  together  with  our  truly  apostolic 

doctrines  and  ministry;  and  now,  sir,  if  you  proceed  another 

step,  I  shall  call  for  help,  and  make  opposition.' 

"  *  If  you  open  your  lips,'  said  he,  *  I  shall  cry  "  PERSE- 

CUTlON !"  *    Not  deterred  by  this,  however,  I  raised  my 

voice  for  idd ;  and  instantly  from  a  thousand  mouths  burst 

the  cry  of  PxBSBCunoK  I  Pbbsecutiok  1 1  and  on  they  went 

with  flashing  eye,  crying  Persecution  I  Persecution !  and 

ever  and  anon,  *  each  dreary  pause  between,'  I  heard  the 

song  of  exultation, 

"  *  Down  goes  the  platform,  ronnd  lonndj  * 
Down  goes  the  platform,  down  downy.' 

^*  In  this  moment  of  dejection  my  heart  was  cheered  by 
the  sight  of  the  good  old  ship  CONNECTICUT— her  hull 
and  rigging  all  the  same,  but  oh  how  changed  I  With  the 
exception  of  some  few  of  her  old  officers,  she  was  command- 
ed by  midshipmen  and  common  sailors,  cooks  and  cabin- 
boys,  and  navigated  by  raw  hands.  Her  broad  pennant, 
which  had  floated  at  masthead  for  almost  two  centuries, 
and  whose  motto  was,  ^Talents  and  virtue  shall  gidde  vs 
thrtyugh^  was  trodden  under  foot,  and  in  its  place  waa  a  new 
peimant,  on  which  was  inscribed  in  capitals,  ^Toleration;  or 
reason  and  philosophy  shall  guide  us?  Qer  sails  were  tat- 
tered, and  she  was  only  moving  under  the  influence  of  for- 
mer gales. 

"I  went  on  board,  and  found  her  lockers  empty;  should 
hav^  staid  longer,  but  the  project  was  ripe,  as  I  heard, /br 
turning  Tier  bottom  tgyward.  Her  balance  was  suddenly 
shifted,  and  she  was  thrown  on  her  beam-ends ;  and  all  the 
crew  stood  with  tackles  hitched,  waiting  the  word  of  com- 
mand to  capsize  her.  I  heard  the  shout,  and  leaped  from 
her  side ;  when  lo  I  after  reiterated  shouts,  and  long  pulls, 
and  strong  pulls,  she  would  not  go  over;  and,  wonderful  to 


k 


406  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 

relate,  while  all  were  strainiDg  every  nerve  and  every  rope, 
and  adding  to  exertion  the  whole  energy  of  sound,  in  a  mo- 
ment the  tackles  broke,  and  she  righted,  and  dashed  from 
her  sides  the  puny  hands  that  thought  to  overthrow  her; 
the  toleration  pennant  fell ;  and  from  the  dust,  white-  and 
clean,  the  broad  pennant  of  the  good  old  ship  CONNECTI- 
CUT rose  majestic  in  its  place,  proclaiming,  with  renovated 
lustre,  to  every  eye,  ^Taknts  and  virtue  ahaU  guide  tie  safe- 
ly through,^ 

^'  At  this  moment  the  voice  of  the  trumpet  ceased ;  the 
great  standard  fell ;  the  shouting  died  away,  and  even  the 
procession  vanished.  The  sudden  silence  was  so  great  as  to 
arouse  me  from  my  slumbers." 


COBBBSPONDBKCS,  1819.  407 


CHAPTER  LVm. 

CORRESPONDENCE,  1819. 

to  JSckoard. 

"  Litchfield,  Febmaiy  4, 1819. 


(( 


*  *  *  Papa  had  his  wood-spell  yesterday ;  we  bad 
only  twelve  loads,  for  it  was  so  terribly  cold.  We  have 
now  had  twenty-two  loads  in  all. 

*^Papa  is  well,  and  still  writing  that  piece  with  a  hard 
name — ^I  can't  remember  what. 

^*  Mamma  is  well,  and  don't  laugh  any  more  than  she  used 
to.  Catharine  goes  on  jnst  as  she  always  did,  making  fun 
for  every  body.  George  is  as  usual.  Harriet  makes  just 
as  many  wry  faces,  is  just  as  odd,  and  loves  to  be  laughed 
at  as  much  as  ever.  Henry  does  not  improve  much  in  talk- 
ing, but  speaks  very  thick.  Charles  is  the  most  mischiev- 
ous little  fellow  I  ever  knew.  He  seems  to  do  it  for  the 
very  love  of  it;  is  punished  and  punished  again,  but"  it  has 
no  effect.  He  is  the  same  honest  little  boy,  and  I  love  him 
dearly.  Poor  little  Fred  has  been  quite  unwell,  but  has  got 
better  now;  he  grows  more  and  more  interesting  every 
day.  Now  for  the  boarders.  Miss  M is  just  as  amia- 
ble and  lovely  as  when  you  was  here:    Miss  B loves 

fun  still.    rMiss  W and  L same  as  usual.    Miss 

C the  most  obliging  and  useful  of  the  family.  To  con- 
clude, the  old  cat  has  got  the  consumption." 


408  AUTOBIOOIIAPHT. 


Mrs,  Beecher  to . 

"May  23, 1819. 

^^  We  are  contemplating  a  journey  to  the  eastward.  It 
is  quite  unexpected  to  us  to  visit  our  friends  so  early,  but 
Mr.  Cornelius  has  been  here,  and  vory  urgent  for  Mr.  Beech- 
er to  preach  his  ordination  sermon  at  Salem,  and  this  is  final- 
ly concluded  upon.  We  have  not  yet  decided  whether  to 
take  the  little  boy  with  us  or  leave  him  at  home. 

'^  Our  visit  at  Boston  will  be  short.  We  can  not  be  gone 
so  long  as  to  see  Portland  and  my  parents,  but  I  hope  they 
will  not  feel  too  much  disappointed." 

Dr.  Beecher  to  Catharine  {at  Boston). 

"May  26, 1819. 

<<I  perceive,  on  writing  your  name,  that  I  have  never 
written  a  letter  to  you.  This,  then,  is  the  beginning  of  a 
long  correspondence.  ♦  ♦  *  When  I  received  your  sec- 
ond letter  at  Hartford  election  evening,  I  said  to  your  moth- 
er,^ She  is  a  good  girl  to  write  so  soon.  I  must  sit  up  to- 
night and  write;'  but  Brothers  Taylor  and  Fitch  came  in, 
and  so  I  concluded  to  write  earli/  in  the  morning.  But, 
alas  1  I  slept  into  breakfast,  and  immediately  after  was  drag- 
ged away  to  attend  the  Domestic  Mbsion  Society ;  and  as 
soon  as  done  there,  hastened  to  get  my  horse  and  come 
home,  which  we  did  Thursday  night.    *    ♦    * 

i<  ♦  ♦  ♦  ]yf  y  gQ^i  jg  moved  within  me  that  so  many 
of  the  temples  in  Boston  and  around  should  be  only  splen- 
did sepulchres,  where  the  spiritually  dead  sleep,  never  to 
awake  till  they  meet  at  the  judgment  seat  that  Savior  whose 
divinity  and  atonement  they  deny. 

''  I  am  glad,  my  child,  that  you  feel  the  difference  between 
the  Gospel  preached  plainly  and  that  despicable,  pitiable 


COBRESPOKDJENCB,  1819.  409 

stuff  oalledy  or  meant  to  be  called,  fine  writing,  as  much  at 
war  with  common  sense  as  it  is  with  fidelity  and  simplicity 
of  real  reviyal  preaching. 

a  *  *  *  Yf^Q  gjmll  g^^jj  attempt  a  journey,  though 
whether  Frederick  can  come  is  doubtful.  If  possible  I 
would  bring  him,  that  they  may  see  down  East  what  chil- 
dren they  have  in  Old.  Connecticut. 

"  Edward  has  just  returned  to  college,  with  every  pros- 
pect of  making  a  first-rate  scholar." 

The  Same. 

"Jane  8»  1819. 

^'DsAB  CATHABms, — Charles  fell  against  the  bedstead 
the  other  day,  and  cut  a  gash  over  one  eye,  which  is  healed. 
But  before  it  was  well  he  fell  and  cut  a  gash  over  the  oth- 
er eye,  in  precisely  the  same  relative  position,  which  had 
been  well  ere  this  had  he  not  a  few  days  ago  fallen  again, 
and  renewed  the  cut  in  the  same  place. 

**  In  the  mean  time  he  stood  before  the  vent  of  a  gun,  from 
which  the  flash  and  powder  flew  into  his  face  and  burned 
it,  and  blew  it  full  of  powder." 

Dr*  Beecher  to  JEohoard. 

*<Jal7  8,1819. 
*^DsAB  Son, — ^We  are  not  gone  to  Salem  yet,  and  still 
your  letters  have  gone  unanswered  for  about  forty  reasons. 
I  had  no  money  to  send  you.  Could  not  find  time  to  go  to 
the  collector  and  get  some.  Could  not  get  any  when  I  did 
go.  Have  had  so  many  things  to  do,  and  have  worked  so 
hard,  that  I  have  had  no  time  to  write.  For  example,  Gkorge 
and  I  have  weeded  the  parsnips  and  beets,  which  have  come 
up  badly,  and  kept  the  north  and  bouA  garden  dean.  Then 
I  helped  Mr.  Taylor  plant  potatoes  up  in  the  orchard.    Then 

S 


410  AirrOBIOORiLPHT. 

two  days  plowing  yard,  and  carrying  out  the  stones  which 
paved  the  bottom.  Clearing  off  the  fence  by  the  well,  and 
burying  the  well  itself  four  feet  deep.  Four  of  as,  with  a 
team,  got  ont  a  pile  of  stones  in  two  days  as  big  as  the  salt 
mountain  in  Louisiana. 

'^And  now  the  yard  waves  with  com,  cabbage,  cante- 
lopes,  and  pumpkins.  Was  there  ever  such  a  yard  f  Tou 
would  not  know  where  you  were  if  you  could  not  see  the 
house.  Then  next  I  attacked  the  bam,  the  east  end,  which 
included  the  horse-stable,  and  in  about  two  hours  sawed  it 
in  two,  and  let  it  down  on  old  Culver's  head.  He  was 
taking  up  the  stable-floor,  and  would  not  get  out  of  the 
way,  from  the  persuasion  that  it  would  fall  over  into  the 
garden.  I  asked  him  if  he  had  lived  long  enough.  He  said 
yes,  unless  he  behaved  better. 

^^  After  which,  half  a  dozen  strokes  of  the  saw  cut  off 
the  plate,  and  dowp  roof  and  all  fell  instantly,  and  buried 
him  beneath  the  ruins.  We  lifted  up  the  roof,  and  he  crept 
ont  bleeding,  with  his  head  cut  to  the  bone  about  three 
inches.  He  is,  however,  now  recovered.  But  the  greatest 
thing  is  yet  to  come.  Yesterday  the  bam  itself,  having  ac* 
quired  an  unusual  understanding,  moved  off  obliquely  to 
Mr.  Wolcott's  comer,  cracking  and  racking  as  it  went  with 
the  noise  of  twenty  teams  and  their  drivers. 

*'  It  commenced  its  movement  precisely  at  eight  o'clock  in 
the  morning,  and  in  two  hoars  went  six  rods,  and  stopped 
to  move  no  more*till  it  tumbles  down  with  age,  it  being,  as 
I  learn,  about  eighty  years  old  now. 

^'  The  peas  have,  some  of  them,  been  big  enough  to  eat  for 
a  week  past,  but  they  are  politely  waiting  for  their  younger 
brethren  round  them  to  come  to  maturity,  that  they  may 
have  the  pleasure  of^U  being  eaten  together.  The  beets 
self  planted  are  large  enough  to  eat,  but  there  is  not  enough 


COBBIHPONDBNCX,  1819.  411 

for  a  mess,  and  thej,  too,  are  waiting  for  the  young  brood 
coming  on.  The  cncmnbers  are  set  and  out  of  blossom,  some 
of  them  the  largest  that  I  have  seen  in  town.  The  potatoes 
about  the  elm-tree,  knee-high.  The  squashes  doing  well. 
The  pole-beans,  a  little  too  many  chips  at  bottom  to  look 
quite  so  green  as  if  more  earth  and  less  wood.  Raspberries 
set  so  thick  you  can  not  see  between  them,  nor  even  stick 
between  them  a  sharp-pointed  penknife.  .  Can  you  not  find 
out  by  algebra  how  many  there  will  be?  The  lettuce  su- 
perlatively good,  but  daily  growing  better.  Radishes  fine, 
first  quality,  and  in  great  quantities  for  ten  days  past.  Pep- 
pergrass  gone,  and  its  place  stocked  with  cabbage,  as  also 
the  turnip-bed.  The  carrots,  poor  things  I  just  peeping  out 
of  ground. 

^^The  gates  shut  as  regularly  as  they  open,  and  no  crea- 
ture has  been  in  since  you  left  but  Carrington's  hens, 
which  now  are  about  tired  of  coming,  as  they  are  sure  to  be 
saluted,  quite  unexpectedly,  with  a  charge  of  powder,  ^  speak- 
ing terror  to  them  from  the  gun  muzzle.'  Do  you  know  from 
whom  the  quotation  is  made  ?    Some  poet,  you  perceive. 

^^The  horse  grows  fat  daily;  eats  much,  and  does  little, 
waiting  for  his  journey.  The  cow  is  fat  as  a  moose,  and 
almost  as  big,  but  keeps  her  calf  to  herself  yet.  We  have 
had  to  buy  milk  to  nearly  the  price  of  a  cow.  Tomcat  en- 
joys ^  otium  cum  dignitateJ*  The  rats  abundant,  as  usual ; 
rattle  over  our  heads  o'  nights  in  troops. 

^'  My  health  was  never  better ;  and,  in  the  midst  of  all 
above  stated,  I  have  been  deeply  pondering  on  the  subject 
of  the  ordination  sermon,  which  perchance  may  be  a  good 
one. 

<(  We  shall  not  set  out  for  Boston  before  Wednesday  next, 
and  shall  go  to  Portiand.  I  expect  to  be  gone  three  Sab- 
baths.   I  wish  you  were  old  enough,  and  learned  enough, 


412  AUTOBIOOBAPHY. 

and  pious  esongli  to  come  and  supply  my  pulpit  while  I  am 
gone.  You  ask  me  to  advise  you  what  to  read  in  leisure 
hours.  I  am  of  opinion  that  you  had  better  study  history 
and  chronology.  ^  ' 

u  ♦  ♦  *  As  to  history,  if  I  were  to  go  over  life  again, 
I  would  study  lustory  mgre  extensively  and  thoroughly, 
chiefly  as  it  furnishes  a  public  speaker  with  illustrations  and 
matter-of-fact  argument,  which  is  the  most  knocking-down 
argument  in  the  world.  Get  me  the  book  Mr.  Gibbs  has 
lately  translated  from  the  German  in  opposition  to  Eichom's 
Accommodation  of  Scripture."    ♦    *    ♦ 

To  the  Same. 

"July  11, 1819. 

"  We  set  out  for  Boston  early  to-morrow  morning.  The 
weather  has  been  excessively  hot,  but  have  just  had  a  copi- 
ous shower." 

Aunt  Esther  to  Edward. 

"Jaly24. 

"  *  *  *  Tour  father  and  mother  have  been  gone  for 
a  fortnight,  and  the  crew  at  home  are  beginning  to  grow 
somewhat  mutinous,  and  I  am  not  sure  but  I  shall  be 
obliged  to  condemn  and  hang  half  a  score  of  them  before 
the  return  of  your  father.  ♦  ♦  ♦  George  *and  Harriet 
go  to  school  to  Mr.  Brace  and  Miss  Pierce ;  Henry  and 
Charles  to  Miss  Osborne  at  the  new  school-house.  Charles 
learns  quite  fast,  and  will  overtake  Henry,  who  has  no  great 
love  for  his  books.  Frederick  makes  such  wonderful  prog- 
ress under  the  tuition  of  Aunt  Sarah  Chandler  that  I  think 
it  probable  he  will  be  fit  to  enter  college  next  September. 
He  can  already  walk  three  steps  alone.  He  has  also  learned 
to  knock  with  his  hand  on  the  wall,  and  then  say  ^  Hark !' 


COBRSSPONDSNCE,  1819.  413 

^^  Mary,  I  believe,  styles  herself  commander-in-chief  in  and 
over  the  household  at  the  Parsonage ;  but,  as  I  before  said^ 
there  is  a  great  want  of  subordination  among  the  troops." 

WiUiam  to  Edward. 

"July  80, 1819. 
'^  Toung  Frederick  has  never  been  known  to  laugh  since 
he  was  bom.  This  I  think  a  curious  circumstance ;  what 
he  will  make  in  the  world  we  can  not  tell.  I  think  father's 
marriage  with  our  present  mother  is  as  blessed  an  event  as 
ever  happened  to  our  family.  She  is  a  dear  woman.  I  can 
but  love  her,  she  is  so  kind  and  so  careful,  and  appears  to 
take  as  much  care  of  the  children  as  if  they  were  her  own." 


414  AUTOBIOQBAPBY. 


CHAPTER  LIX. 

THS    LOCAL    CHUBCH. 

Thb  Unitarian  controversy  inyolved,  in  its  progress,  a  dis- 
eossion,  not  only  of  the  prindpal  doctrines  of  theology,  but 
also  of  the  principles  of  Congregational  Church  organization, 
which  are  but  the  outgrowth  of  that  theology.  Accord- 
ing to  the  primitive  Puritan  faith,  a  local  Churdi  is  not  a 
voluntary  association  on  purely  human  principles,  but  a  di- 
vine fiunily,  a'household  of  children  spiritually  bom  of  God, 
heirs  of  God  and  joint  heirs  with  Christ.  "  One  is  your 
Master,  even  Christ,  and  all  ye  are  brethren,"  is  the  organic 
law  of  the  local  Church.  God  creates  the  Church  by  crea- 
ting the  spiritual  children  who  are  ipso  facto  its  members. 
True  sonship  to  God  constitutes  membership  in  the  visible 
Church,  as  really  as  natural  birth  in  the  natural  family.  AH 
that  the  local  Church  can  do,  according  to  this  view,  is  to 
recognize  as  members,  on  suitable  evidence,  those  who  are 
such  by  birth  divine.  All  she  can  require  of  candidates  she 
must  require  in  the  form  of  evidence  of  present  spiritual  son- 
ship  to  God. 

Now,  in  proportion  as  a  system  of  theology  is  adopted 
which  extenuates  human  'guilt,  explains  away  regenenition, 
and  divests  the  Christian  character  of  its  distinctive  super- 
natural peculiarity,  in  that  proportion  it  tends  to  destroy 
that  form  of  organization  which  avowedly  depends  on  such 
peculiarity  as  its  fundamental  organic  law. 

This,  however,  was  precisely  what  the  system  of  Unita- 
rianism  dj^,  and,  as  a  natural  consequence,  the  whole  system 
of  the  local  Church  was  shaken.    By  the  inevitable  opera- 


THB  LOCAL  GHUBCH.  416 

tion  of  the  laws  of  logical  consistency,  attempts  were  made 
to  effiMO  the  distinction  between  the  regenerate  and  the  un- 
regenerate,  and  enlarge  the  circle  of  Church  fellowship  to 
include  the  whole  congregation.  In  progress  of  controver* 
ay,  the  endeavor  was  pushed  in  various  ways,  beyond  the 
bounds  of  argument  and  moral  influence,  until  the  churches 
felt  themselves  invaded,  robbed  of  their  rights,  and  in  peril 
of  utter  destruction. 

It  was  the  olgiK^t  of  the  sermon  on  ^'  the  Design,  Bights, 
and  Duties  of  Local  Churches,''  to  meet  the  onset,  and  sound 
a  note  of  defensive  war  so  loud  and  clear  that  ^'all  the 
churches  of  the  land  might  feel  the  assault  made  upon  their 
Christian  liberty,  and  stand  together  upon  the  defensive." 

Extracts  from  Sermon. 

*'  Wherever,  therefore,  a  number  of  individuals,  possess- 
ing the  required  qualifications,  associate  to  maintain  the  or- 
dinances of  the  Gospel,  they  become  a  society  incorporated 
ty  the  Qod  of  heaven  with  qtecifie  chartered privUegea. 

^  The  requisite  qualifications  for  membership  in  a  Church 
of  Christ  are  personal  holiness  in  the  sight  of  Gody  and  a 
credible  profession  of  holiness  btfore  men.  ♦  ♦  ♦  The 
commission  ^ven  by  our  Savior  to  His  apostles  at  His  as- 
cension directs  them£rst  to  make  disciples  and  then  to  bap- 
tize them,  inculcating  universal  obedience.  The  qualifica- 
tions for  disdpleship  Jesus  has  before  disclosed.  They  were 
love  to  Christ  above  father  or  mother;  daily  selMenial; 
real  religion.    ♦    ♦    * 

''  A  regularly  ordained  ministry,  an  orthodox  creed,  and 
devout  forms  of  worship,  can  not  constitute  a  Church  of 
Christ  without  personal  holiness  in  the  members.  *  *  * 
The  atteiQpt  which  is  making  to  confound  the  scdptural  dis- 
tinction between  the  regenerate  and  the  unregenerate  blots 


416  AITTOBIOGSAPHT. 

out  practioallyy  as  has  been  long  done  in  theory,  the  doc- 
trine of  regeneration  by  the  special  influence  of  the  Holy 
Ghost.  To  abolish  the  revealed  terms  of  membership  in  the 
Church  of  God,  and  to  form  churches  without  reference  to 
doctrinal  opinion  or  ezperimentaT  religion,  and  only  by  loca- 
tion within  certain  parish  limits,  and  by  certain  civil  quali- 
fications, is  the  most  pernicious  infidelity  that  was  ever 
broached.  It  breaks  the  spring  of  motion  in  the  centre  of 
God's  system  of  good  wiU  to  men,  and  stops  the  work  of 
salvation.    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

"  That  system  of  aggression  which  would  break  down  the 
sacred  indosures  about  the  Church,  and  throw  the  Church 
and  the  world  together  in  one  common  field,  and  which,  to 
accomplish  its  purpose,  would  bring  into  competition  the 
rights  of  churches  and  of  congregations,  and,  by  designed 
invidious  ezdtement,  arouse  and  direct  the  stream  of  popu- 
lar indignation  against  the  Church,  is  a  pystem  of  practical 
infidelity  armed  with  the  principles  of  the  most  effident 
persecution.  *  *  *  All  the  churches  of  our  Lord,  and 
all  ecclesiastical  sodeties,  and  all  men  who  wish  wdl  to  the 
dvil  as  promoted  by  the  religious  order  of  our  fieithers,  have 
more  cause  to  fear  and  to  execrate  such  a  system  of  aggres- 
sion than  all  the  infidel  books  that  ever  were  printed.  *  *  ^ 

^^  Local  churches  have  the  right  to^require  a  confession 
of  faith  and  a  satisfactory  account  of  Christian  experience 
as  the  condition  of  membership  in  their  communion.  A  be- 
lief of  the  truth,  attended  by  corresponding  affection  of 
heart,  is  a  part  of  the  evidence  which  is  indispenslible  to 
constitute  a  profession  of  religion  credible.  If,  then,  church- 
es have  no  right  to  interrogate  a  candidate  for  admission 
concerning  the  articles  of  his  belief  and  the  exerdses  of  his 
heart,  they  are  deprived  of  the  only  means  of  preserving  the 
Church  as  a  sodety  of  faithful  men ;  for  external  actions, 


THE  LOCAL  CHUBCH.  41? 

without  any  reference  to  belief  or  experience,  do  not  furnish 
credible  evidence  of  piety.    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

**  Notwithstanding  the  current  of  invective  poured  out 
against  creeds,  after  the  most  deliberate  attention  to  the 
subject  I  have  not  been  able  to  perceive  any  rational  ground 
of  objection  against  them.  *  *  *  '  It  is  not  the  object  of 
creeds  to  supplant  the  Bible,  but  to  ascertain,  for  purposes 
of  concentrated  effort  in  the  propagation  of  truth,  how  pas- 
tors and  churches  understand  the  Bible.    *    *    * 

"  If  men  attached  invariably  the  same  ideas  to  the  lan- 
guage of  the  Bible,  creeds  would  be  superfluous,  and  the 
profession  of  a  general  belief  in  the  Bible  would  suffice. 
But  as  men  differ  indefinitely  as  to  the  import  of  scripture 
language,  a  profession  of  a  belief  in  the  Bible,  as  a  means  of 
informing  those  who  have  a  right  to  know  in  what  particu- 
lar sense  the  Bible  is  understood,  has  now  become  an  intel- 
ligible profession  of  no  one  truth  which  it  contains.  And 
to  profess  that  Jesui  is  the  Christy  the  Son  of  God — ^a  phrase 
which  in  the  apostolic  age  had  a  known  and  definite  mean- 
ing—does not  now,  when  different  circumstances  exist,  and 
opposite  meanings  are  attached  to  it,  communicate  any  in- 
telligible profession  of  our  belief  on  that  point;  and  all  pre- 
tension of  giving  an  account  of  our  faith  in  that  manner  is 
an  artifice  for  concealment  unworthy  of  honest  men,  and  an 
indignity  offered  to  the  understandings  of  those  who  desire 
to  know  in  what  manner  we  understand  the  doctrines  of 
the  Bible.    ♦    <    ♦ 

''  In  the  nature  of  the  case,  I  have  been  able  to  perceive 
no  adequate  cause  for  the  virulent  invective  employed 
against  creeds ;  but  when  I  have  compared  the  creeds  of 
the  Reformation  with  the  Bible,*  and  have  perceived  their 

*  The  idea  that  a  minister  at  his  ordination  surrenders  the  right  of 
comparing  creeds  with  the  Bible,  and  judging  them  in  its  light,  had  never 

S2 


418  AUTOBIOaSAPHY. 

general  coinoidenoe  with  the  unperverted  dictates  of  reve- 
lation, and  their  efficacy  in  uniting  the  churches  and  pre- 
serving the  truth,  I  have  not  been  surprised  at  the  torrent 
of  declamation  that  has  been  poured  forth  against  them. 
*  *  *  Creeds  and  associated  churches  create  a  rugged 
warfare  to  the  innovator,  and  reward  him  with  slow  gains 
and  victories  of  doubtful  continuance." 


/' 


occnrred  to  the  author  of  this  sermon.  It  is  remarkable  that,  although 
the  tendency  of  the  times  was  to  make  creeds  a  test,  the  author  rextfains 
true  to  the  fundamental  principle  of  the  Ck)ngregational  polity  that  they 
are  simply  declaratory.  They  are  ''a  means  of  informing  those  who 
have  a  right  to  know  in  what  particnlar  sense  the  Bible  is  understood.** 
They  are  to  *'eommnnicate  an  intelligible  profession  of  our  belief,"  to 
<'giFe  an  account  of  our  faith.'* 

'*A  belief  of  the  truth'*  he  regards  as  ''a  part  of  the  eyidence*'  of 
pietj,  provided  it  is  '*  attended  by  corresponding  afibctions  of  the  heart." 
The  sole  qualification  or  test  he  declares  to  be  **  personal  holiness  in  the 
sight  of  God,  and  a  credible  profession  of  holiness  before  men.** 


COBBBSPONDENCB,  1810.  410 


CHAPTER  LX. 

COBBESPONDSNCB,  1810. 

Dr.  Beecher  to  Edward. 

"Aiigii8tl6,1819. 

^^  Wb  returned  from  oar  joamey  Thursday  last.  Left 
Catharine  at  Portland,  fiit,  contented,  and  happy,  to  return 
in  September.  Had  a  pleasant  journey,  and  found  friends 
well.  ^  Received  a  donation  of  fifty  dollars  from  the  young 
men  of  Salem  as  a  compliment,  and  to  defray  the  expenses 
of  my  journey  to  preach  the  ordination  sermon  of  Mr.  Cor- 
nelias, their  pastor.  The  sermon  is  out  of  press,  and  will  be 
in  New  Haven  soon.  All  well  at  home  except  Charles,  who 
broke  his  leg  a  week  ago,  but  is  doing  welL" 

Dr.  Beecher  to  WtUiam. 

'<Aiignstl8,1819. 

^'Mt  dxab  Son, — ^We  rejoice  that  you  think  sometimes 
that  you  will  alter  your  course  of  life  and  become  a  new 
creature;  but  we  mourn  that,  with  such  explicit  instruction 
as  the  Bible  contains,  you  should  not  know  where  to  begin. 
^  My  son,  give  me  thy  heart ;'  ^  Thou  shalt  love  the  Lord  thy 
God;'  these  and  many  other  precepts  direct  you  where  to 
begin — ^with  your  heart. 

^' '  You  will  tell  me  to  repent ;  but  can  a  man  feel  sorrow 
for  sins  of  which  he  does  not  fed  guilty?' 

^'No,he  cannot. 

^^  ^  And  how  is  a  man  to  be  brought  to  a  sense  of  his  sins 
— can  he  convince  himself?' 


420  AUTOBIOQBAPHT. 

^^  Yes,  undoubtedly.  His  ignorance  of  himself  is  volun- 
tary and  inexcusable,  and  his  stupidity  and  ipsensibility  are 
his  crime.  Where  is  the  difficulty  of  couvincing  yourself 
of  sin?  Can  not  you  read  the  law  of  God?  Do  you  not 
understand  it  ?  Can  you  not  perceive  you  are  constantly 
transgressing  it — ^yea,  that,  as  your  heart  is  concerned,  you 
have  not  obeyed  it  at  all,  but  have  sinned  constantly,  ever 
since  you  have  been  capable  by  age  of  knowing  and  loving 
God  ?  Can  not  you  understand  the  command  of  the  Gospel 
to  repent  and  believe,  and  can  not  you  see  that  you  have  not 
done  these  things?  Where,  then,  is  the  difficulty  of  con- 
vincing yourself  of  sin  ?  ♦  ♦  *  The  real  difficulty  is  that 
you  do  not  feel  it  to  be  a  crime  to  have  a  heart  thus  at  vari- 
ance with  God's  requirements.  But  what  fearful  evidence 
of  most  aggravated  guilt  does  this  very  insensibility  to  guib 
imply!    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

^'  You  say,  ^  I  would  not  drive  a  sinner  into  a  comer  where 
he  can  not  get  out' 

^'  But  I  find,  my  son,  many  sinners  who  have  voluntarily 
gone  into  a  corner  from  which  I  can  not  persuade  them  to 
come  out,  though  God  has  opened  the  way,  and  eternal  death 
awfuts  them  if  they  stay. 

'*  ^  And  make  every  diing  he  does  sin.' 

^  No,  my  dear  son,  I  do  not  make  the  law  of  God  or  the 
Gospel  of  Christ;  and  if  I  explain  their  "requisitions  upon 
your  heart,  and  it  appears  that  you  do  in  nothing  truly  obey 
God,  then  it  is  not  I  that  make  all  you  do  sin,  but  you  your- 
self by  refusing.  I  only  hold  up  the  rule  that  discovers  your 
sin. 

<<  'He  can  not  pray  while  in  an  unregenerate  state.' 

^'That  is,  he  can  not  pray  so  long  as  he  is  in  a  fltate  of 
mind  which  does  not  and  will  not  pray,  though  constantly 
commanded  to  do  it.    It  b  just  like  saying  a  man  can  not 


C0SBBSP02n>ENCB,  1819.  421 

be  honest  as  long  as  he  continnes  to  cheat  and  defraud,  or 
be  a  man  of  veracity  so  long  as  he  is  an  habitual  liar,  or  be 
industrious  as  long  as  he  refuses  to  labor.  A  man  is  not 
obliged  to  be  nnregenerate  and  unable  to  pray.  A  very  lit- 
tle affection  for  God  would  enable  him  to  pray  acceptably. 
And  if  he  will  not  love  Ood  enough  to  worship  Him  accept- 
ably, it  is  his  crime,  not  his  excuse. 

^'^And  yet  he  must  pray  that  God  would  renew  his 
heart?' 

*^I  feel  myself  called  on  to  exhort  and  entreat  sinners  to 
love  God,  to  repent,  to  believe,  and  to  pray  with  the  temper 
of  heart  which  God  has  required ;  but  I  have  not  been  able 
to  find  as  yet  that  passage  in  the  Bible  which  directs  sinners 
to  pray,  while  as  yet  unholy,  that  God  would  give  them  a 
new  heart.  ♦  «  «  I  have  no  doubt  a  sinner  who  has  felt 
the  sinfulness  of  his  heart  wiU  cry  to  God  to  change  it ;  but 
God's  direction  to  him  is  to  make  to  himself  a  new  heart,  to 
love  Him  instantly.  In  short,  God  commands  us  to  obey 
Him  heart  first,  and  accepts  nothinjg  as  obedience  which  is 
not  done  in  that  order.    ♦    ♦    *     , 

"Do  you  ask  me, then,  what  you  shall  do?  The  Scrip- 
tures leave  the  sinner  who  can,  and  will  not  love  God  and 
repent,  in  the  hands  of  God,  to  dispose  of  him  as  seems  good 
in  His  sight." 

The  Same. 

**  September  18, 1S19. 

"One  of  the  prominent  traits  of  character  in  young  men, 
I  know  both  by  observation  and  experience,  is  insensibility 
to  danger.  I  can  perceive  scenes  of  temptation  in  which  I 
was  placed  when  young,  without  the  least  fear,  which  were 
full  of  danger,  and  into  which  were  my  sons  to  go  I  should 
feel  as  if  they  wotild  probably  be  ruined ;  and  probably  they 
would,  for  it  was  of  the  Lord's  mercies  that  I  was  not. 


422  AITTOBXOOBAPBT. 

''I  have  to  regret  espedaUy  my  ezeessiye  attaohment, 
when  quite  young,  to  company,  and  the  indolgenoe  which 
those  who  should  have  restrained  me  gave  in  that  respect. 
The  hoars  squandered  by  myself  would,  devoted  to  readii^, 
have  produced  a  fund  of  knowledge,  and  aided  me  essen- 
tially in  the  whole  course  of  my  life.  I  should  have  been 
impatient  of  restraint,  and  have  thought  it  unreasonable  and 
needless*  I  was  glad  that  my  guardians  did  let  me  go';  but 
it  was  a  momentary  gladness,  succeeded  by  lasting  and  un* 
availing  regret.  Cotdd  I  recall  the  days  of  my  youdi  with 
my  present  experience,  I  would  consecrate  them,  I  think,  to 
better  purposes.  But  they  are  gone,  and  I  can  retrieve  the 
loss  only  by  ^ving  to  my  children  the  instructive  results  of 
my  experience,  without  the  perils  and  sacrifices  by  which  I 
have  acquired  it. 

<<  The  views  of  Deacon  M and  my  own  on  the  subject 

of  gomg  into  company  are  alike.  I  wQiald  by  no  means 
have  you  or  Edward  become  fiucinated  with  female  society 
and  promiscuous  assodations  of  youth.  It  would  do  yon 
no  good,  but  much  eviL  He  and  yon  must  live  to  be  use- 
ful, and  not  merely  to  please  yourselves.  I  can  only  add  a 
few  short  maxims  of  advice. 

c^Be  respectful  in  your  treatment  of  equals,  and  much 
more  so  of  superiors. 

^^Be  not  wise  in  your  own  conceit,  or  confident  in  your 
own  manner  of  advancing  your  opinions. 

'^Be  not  too  open-hearted  in  your  communications.    All 

men  are  not  to  be  trusted  with  the  secrets  of  your  heart. 

♦       *       *       ♦ 

^'I  am  not  a  business  man,  but  I  know  what  is  necessary 
to  make  one.  *  *  *  Do  you  remember  the  answer  which 
old  Mr.Ejnney  gave  to  me  in  reply  to  the  question  by  what 
means  he  had  been  able  on  a  small  salary  to  rear  a  large 


COBBBBPONDBNCB}  1819.        "  428 

fiunily  ?    He  said  it  was  by  taking  very  great  care  of  very 
little  things." 

l>r.Beeehesr  to  Ed/ioa/rd. 

*<NoTember31,1819. 

*'  Your  letter  was  a  weloome  messenger.  I  rejoice  in  yottr 
restoration  as  much  as  I  was  alarmed  and  overwhelmed  at 
the  prospect  of  your  being  suddenly  cut  down.  It  was  to 
me  a  dark  moment  and  fall  of  agony.  God  only  knows  the 
many  tears  and  strong  cryings  which  were  poured  out  be- 
fore Him  by  your  father  for  your  preservation  or  your  prep- 
aration, should  it  be  His  will  to  blast  my  hopes  in  you  by 
your  untimely  removal. 

*'  Perhaps  I  ought  to  feel  that  God  has  heard  my  prayers, 
and  will  yet  answer  those  that  have  been  offered  by  your 
departed  mother  and  me  for  your  conversion  and  consecra- 
tion to  God  in  thQ  Gospel  of  Hii»  Son.  I  trust  you  will  not 
be  inattentive  to  the  goodness  of  God  toward  you,  and  that 
your  reconciliation  of  heart  to  Him  may  not  be  delayed. 

'^  A  free  communication  of  your  thoughts  and  feelings  to 
me  on  the  subject  will  always  be  interesting  and  grateful  to 
your&ther.    *    »    » 

^'I  have  no  money,  and  no  watch  but  one  which  I  have 
given  to  your  mother,  and  which  I  bought  with  money  earn- 
ed by  myself  after  I  was  out  of  college.  I  have  no  objec- 
tion to  your  wearing  a  watch  when  you  have  earned  and 
paid  for  one,  though  at  present,  if  you  had  one,  it  would  be 
indicative  of  more  foppery  to  wear  it  than  I  should  have 
suspected  of  you  from  any  indications  of  that  kind  of  folly 
which  I  have  ever  perceived  in  you." 


424  AUTOBIOQBAPHT. 

Catharine  to  JSdward. 

<<NoTember29, 1819. 
"Apropos — last  week  was  interred  Tom,  junior,  with 
fnneral  honors,  hy  the  side  of  old  Tom  of  happy  memory. 
What  a  fatal  mortality  there  is  among  the  cats  of  the  Par- 
sonage !  Our  Harriet  is  chief  mourner  always  at  their  fu- 
nerals. She  asked  for  what  she  called  an  qnthet  for  the 
grave-stone  of  Tom,  junior,  which  I  gave  as  follows : 

"  *  Here  died  our  kit, 
Who  had  a  fit, 

And  acted  queer. 
Shot  with  a  gun, 
Her  race  is  ran. 

And  she  lies  here.' " 

P.8.  by  Dr.  JBeecher. — "  The  proverb  is,  *  Every  one  must 
eat  his  pound  of  dirt.'  It  might  be  a  maxim,  every  one  must 
write  his  quire  of  nonsense.  I  remember  that  I  wrote  mine 
out,  if  not  more,  while  in  college,  and  I  judge,  by  the  hope- 
ful specimens  of  my  children,  Catharine,  William,  Edward, 
and  Mary,  that  you  will  be  soon  through  with  all  of  this 
kind  which  you  are  fated  to  write,  and  that  soon  none  but 
letters  so  solid  and  weighty  as  to  earn  their  postage  will  be 
passing  to  and  fro." 

P./S.  2d  by  Catharine. — "  Never  mind  this,  Ned,  for  papa 
loves  to  laugh  as  well  as  any  of  us,  and  is  quite  as  much 
tickled  at  nonsense  as  we  are  I" 


C0BRBBP02n>]BNCB,  1820.  425 


CHAPTER  LXI. 

COBBESPONDENCE,  1820. 

Dt,  Beecher  to  Esther, 

*'llarc]i26, 1820. 

^'  Ybbt  dbab  Sisteb, — ^It  is  grateful  to  fraterDal  affection 
that  you  should  be  so  acceptable  to  onr  friends  abroad ; 
bnt  the  same  affection  which  is  made  glad  would  be  made 

« 

sorry  too,  should  their  partialities  prevail  over  our  expecta- 
tions and  wishes.  I  shall  descend  to  New  Haven  with  my 
horse  and  chaise,  with  the  expectation  that  Edward  and 
you  will  return  in  the  same  vehicle,  if  it  shall  seem  best  to 
yon.  I  shall  myself  go  on  to  the  Bible  Society  at  New 
York,  and  return  afterward  as  soon  as  possible.  My  health, 
after  the  tonic  of  cutting  wood  four  or  five  half  days,  is  pret- 
ty good,  though  I  have  some  of  those  Dr.  Trotter  com* 
plaints." 

•  jDf  .  Beecher  to  Catharine, 

''New  York,  May  9, 1820. 

^*  Just  arrived  at  Brother  Spring's,  and  shall  make  it  our 
home.  Your  mother  caught  a  severe  cold  riding  over  to 
Guilford.  Saturday  rode  to  Fairfield,  and  spent  the  Sab- 
bath with  Mr.  Hewitt.  Monday  set  out  for  New  York,  in 
company  with  Messrs.  Hewitt  and  Sherman.  Your  moth- 
er's cough,  produced  by  tobacco-smoke  in  which  we  spent 
the  Sabbath,  was  severe.  Mem,  to  tell  Edward  never  to 
use  tobacco  nor  tipple. 

^*I  have  talked  myself  tired  many  times  over.    To-day  I 


426  AXTTOmOaBAPHT. 

am  solicited  to  address  2000  children  of  the  Sanday-fichools. 
Next  day  after  to-morrow  is  the  meeting  of  the  Bible  So- 
ciety ;  I  make  the  second  address,  followed  by  Mr.  Sher- 
man." 

Mrs.  Beecher  to  Harriet  JEbote. 

*«  Jane  7, 1820. 

"  When  I  reached  New  Haven  on  oar  way  to  New  York, 
I  could  not  hold  myself  up/bat  Mary  Hillhouse  nursed  me 
in  the  best  and. kindest  manner.  I  wished  Mr.Beedher  to 
go  on  without  me,  but  he  would  not  bear  a  word  of  it,  but 
preferred  spending  the  Sabbath  in  New  Haven  rather  than 
^ve  up  our  journey  to  New  York,  which  we  had  calculated 
would  be  so  recruiting  to  my  health.  We  reached  the  city 
on  a  beautiful  morning,  when  every  tlung  looked  fidr  and 
bright.  We  put  up  at  Dr.  Spring's,  where  we  were  expect- 
ed, and  every  thing  was  very  agreeable. 

^^  The  meeting  of  the  Bible  Society  was  very  interesting ; 
the  addresses  were  thought  superior  to  any  former  anni- 
versary,  notwithstanding  my  husband  made  one  of  them ; 
and,  let  me  add,  his  was  a  good  one,  his  wife  being  judge. 
«  *  «  We  saw  Mrs.  Tomlinson,  and  dined  there.  She 
thought  I  resembled  Mary  Hubbard  very  much. 

^^We  reached  home  just  before  the  storm  commenced, 
which  has  lasted  for  better  than  three  weeks,  almost  as  cold 
as  winter. 

*' Edward  has  returned  to  college.  Oaihaiine  is  devoted 
to  music.  George  has  commenced  Latin.  Little  Fred 
knew  us,  but  looked  very  sober  for  a  while,  then  very  glad. 
He  clings  to  me.  more  than  ever.  He  talks  very  fast,  part 
in  English,  part  in  a  tongue  of  Us  own." 


CORSBSPONDXNCB,  1820.  42*1 


Dr.  JBeecher  to  MJward. 

''June  22, 1820. 

*'  Your  learned  (Latin)  letter,  with  much  deterioration  of 
chirography,  came  safe  to  hand.  As  money  was  the  most 
nrgent  point  of  conoem,  and  I  had  none,  and  can  get  none, 
I  was  in  no  haste  to  reply. 

^'  The  books  for  which  yon  subscribed  you  must  decline 
to  take,  if  they  will  let  you  off.  I  can  not  buy  even  the 
most  necessary  books  for  my  own  use ;  and  our  economy 
must  be  absolutely  dose  and  constant,  or  I  shall  be  obliged 
to  take  you  from  college.  I  say  this,  not  because  you  are 
prodigal,  but  because  it  is  literally  true,  as  you  must  know 
from  knowing  what  my  resources  are,  and  what  my  ex- 
penses. The  books  you  need  you  may  get  at  H ^'s ;  sec- 
ond-hand books,  if  you  can  find  them  in  good  preservation. 

^'  The  money  necessary  to  your  present  use  I  shall  send 
as  soon  as  I  can  get  any ;  until  which,  those  you  owe  must 
do  as  I  do,  icaU,  and  you  must  do  as  I  do,  endure  the  mor- 
tification of  telling  them  so.  Your  clothes  you  will  please 
tie  up  in  a  pocket-handkerchief  and  send  home  to  be  wash- 
ed, and  returned  the  same  week.  Send  them  on  Monday, 
and  they  will  be  returned  on  Friday.  I  have  contracted 
with  Parks,  the  stage-driver,  to  bring  and  return  them. 
This  arrangement  will  save  foQr  dollars  and  more. 

^^  William  has  been  greatly  afflicted  by  the  death  of  his  fet 
low-clerk,  Andrew  Burr,  and  is  much  awakened  and  alarmed 
concerning  his  own  condition  as  a  sinner.  He  wrote  me 
a  letter  entreating  me  to  pray  for  him.  I  exchanged  with 
Mr.  Elliott,  and  saw  him.  I  believe  the  Holy  Spirit  is  striv- 
ing with  him,  and  that  he  has  some  conviction  of  sin ;  but  he 
fears,  as  I  do,  that  it  may  pass  off  without  a  saving  change, 
which  may  66d  avert  by  the  merciful  interposition  of  His 


428  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

saving  grace.  One  child  ont  of  danger  wonld  give  me  joy 
to  which  I  am  yet  a  stranger,  and  relieve  the  sickness  of 
heart  occasioned  by  hope  deferred. 

'^  I  hope  your  ambition  as  a  scholar,  or  your  love  of  study 
for  its  own  sake,  does  not  so  engross  yonr  mind  as  to  pre- 
vent the  devout  reading  of  the  Scriptures,  and  daOy  suppli- 
cation to  God.  Yours  is  the  forming  age.  You,  as  respects 
both  understanding  and  heart,  are  coming  to  a  condition 
which  is  likely  to  be  permanent ;  and,  though  more  time  and 
expense  is  bestowed  to  improve  your  understanding,  it  is  not 
because  the  improvement  of  the  heart  is  not,  at  the  same 
time,  infinitely  the  most  important,  but  because,  alas !  we 
have  no  colleges  to  which  we  can  send  our  children  to  be  re- 
generated as  we  do  to  be  instructed  in  science,  and  we  can 
not  with  money  purchase  the  Holy  Ghost,  as  we  can  pur- 
chase intellectual  improvement. 

*'  I  shall  not  cease  to  pray,  my  dear  son,  for  your  conver- 
sion, nor  to  deplore  the  mighty  ruin  which  all  your  capacities 
and  improvement  will  constitute  in  another  world,  should 
they  continue  under  the  dominion  of  a  heart  unsanctified  and 
unreconciled  to  God.  With  all  your  gettings,  get  wisdom. 
So  expects,  and  entreats,  and  prays  your  affectionate  father. 
I  think  you  have  never  spoken  to  me  of  your  feelings  on  the 
subject  of  religion  in  any  of  your  letters.  I  hope  you  do  not 
feel  reluctant  to  do  it,  that  I^may  both  know  how  to  pray 
and  counsel,  and  may  also  find  excitement  to  pray  for  yon." 

The  Same  to  WiUiam, 

"June  20. 

"Frederick  is  very  sick  with  the  black  canker,  or  scarlet 

fever,  as  some  call  it.    We  have  repeatedly  despaired  of  his 

life.    I  walked  with  him  the  last  two  nights  in  succession, 

and,  but  for  ray  aid  last  night,  when  he  coughed  and  choked, 


COBBBSPOKDENCE,  1820.  429 

I  think  he  conld  not  have  breathed  again.    Last  night  Har- 
riet was  violently  attacked  with  the  same  disorder." 

Catharine  to  Edward. 

<*  June  20, 1820. 

"We  are  all  anxious  and  troubled  at  home.  Frederick  has 
had  the  canker,  or  scarlet  fever,  very  badly.  For  two  or 
three  days  we  have  despaired  of  his  life.  Last  night  he 
nearly  suffocated  with  the  phlegm ;  but  this  morning  he  is 
much  better,  and  we  hope  his  greatest  danger  is  over. 

"  Last  night  Harriet  was  seized  violently  with  the  same 
disease,  and  we  know  not  how  it  will  terminate.  «  *  * 
Dr.  Sheldon  is  a  most  excellent  physician,  and  we  hope  his 
care  and  the  mercy  of  God  will  save  our  dear  Harriet  and 
Frederick,  and  we  use  all  the  precautions  we  can  to  prevent 
the  other  children  from  taking  the  infection." 

Dr,  JBeecher  to  Edward. 

'*  June  22, 1820. 

"  I  hope  that  your  health  may  be  preserved,  and  your  life, 
for  usefulness  in  the  Church  of  God.  Most  earnestly  do  I 
pray  that  I  may  never  have  the  trial  of  weeping  over  you, 
on  a  dying  bed,  without  hope.  What  shall  it  profit  you 
though  you  should  gain  all  knowledge  and  lose  your  own 
soul  ?  Awake,  my  dear  son,  to  righteousness  I  I  must  en- 
treat you  no  longer  to  presume  on  the  continuance  of  a  va- 
por to  reject  the  mercy  of  the  Gospel. 

"  It  has  seemed  for  a  while  here  as  if  God  was  about  to 
sweep  us  away  with  a  stroke.  Causes  of  alarm  came  clus- 
tering around  me:  Frederick  hopeless;  Harriet  violently 
seized;  William  more  unwell;  Charles  stuck  a  pitchfork 
into  his  foot ;  the  other  children  exposed  to  a  terrible  and 
contagious  disorder ;  your  eyes  threatened ;  your  mother 


480  AUTOmoeBAPHT. 

feeble  and  greatly  afflicted.  My  cup  seemed  to  admit  no 
more  of  feeling  or  of  fear.  Bat  Ood  haa  pitied  and  re- 
prieved.** 

Catharine  to  Mrs,  JFbote. 

"June  23. 

^^  Disease  and  death  have  visited  our  house.  The  scariet 
fever  has  prevailed  here,  and  little  Freddy  was  seized,  and 
*  *  *  this  morning,  -without  much  struggling,  breathed 
his  last  Were  it  not  for  the  support  of  religion,  I  think 
mamma  would  sinl^ ;  but  she  is  a  most  eminent  Christian, 
and  feels  resignaMb  and  comfort  from  above. 

^'  I  wish  you  could  see  how  beautiful  he  looks  even  in 
death.  I  think  I  never  beheld  any  thing  earthly  so  perfect 
and  lovely  as  his  little  corpse.  His  hair  curls  in  beautiful 
ringlets  all  over  his  head,  and  he  looks  so  natural  and  unal- 
tered, one  would  think  him  in  a  peaceful  slumber.  I  can  not 
bear  to  think  he  must  be  laid  in  the  grave. 

^  Yesterday  Harriet  was  seized  violently  with  the  same 
disease,  and  last  night  we  were  almost  distracted  for  fear 
we  should  lose  them  both. 

*^  Our  friends  here  are  very  kind,  and  do  every  thing  for 
our  assistance  and  comfort.  It  recalls  every  moment  the 
heavy  day  when  my  dearest  mother  died.  Oh,  may  the  re- 
peated admonitions  not  be  lost  upon  her  children ! 

'^  Sad  dawned  the  morning  of  the  day 
That  saw  onr  sweetest  flower  laid  low ; 
The  weeping  heavens  were  hung  with  clouds, 
And  Katare  seemed  to  feel  our  woe. 

**  We  laid  him  in  his  infant  grayo, 
The  fairest  form  of  earthly  mould ; 
Death  ne'er  conld  choose  a  sweeter  flower 
To  dock  his  bosom  oold. 


COBBlSPOllBSirOS,  1820.  431 

'*  Yet  oft  kind  mem'iy's  gende  hand 
Shall  lead  him  smiliog  to  oar  view ; 
Becall  his  prettj  prattling  wa7a, 
To  wring  our  hearts^  yet  soothe  them  toa 

"  Dear  cherished  child,  though  few  the  days 
To  cheer  our  hearts  thou  here  wast  giycn, 
When  earth  is  past,  thy  cheruh  smiles 
Shall  sweetlj^  welcome  us  to  heaven/* 

Dr.  Beecher  to  JBilward. 

«Aaga8t25, 1820. 

^^My  dbab  Son, — ^Is  not  tb6  present  your  time?  I  can 
not  endure  the  thought  that,  amid  such  eKoitements  to  seri- 
ousness, you  should  continue  unawakened  and  unconyerted 
to  God.  Should  the  revivi^  prevail  in  college,  your  obliga- 
tions to  piety  and  the  aggravations  of  unbelief  will  be  great- 
ly enhanced.  To  whom  much  is  given,  of  tlie  same  much 
will  be  required.  Surely  knowledge  can  be  no  impediment 
to  holiness — ^no  hinderance  to  repentance  and  faith;  |md 
should  yon,  with  your  intellect,  religious  education,  and  pub- 
lic advantages,  continue  in  sin,  it  must  be  sin  of  crimson  dy^. 

"If  you  ask  why  you  continue  stupid,!  must  reply  be- 
cause you  willingly  prefer  other  interests  to  the  interests  of 
your  soul,  and  give  your  thoughts  and  affections  so  much  to 
things  of  time  that  no  place  is  found  for  God  in  your  heart 
or  thoughts. 

"  If  you  ask  why  God  passes  you  by,  and  does  not  by  His 
grace  counteract  your  voluntary  stupidity,  I  can  not  tell — 
oh,  my  son,  I  can  not  tell.  But  my  heart  is  pained,  is  ter- 
rified at  the  thought  that  you  should  be  left.  Think  not, 
Edward,  that  mind  can  be  a  substitute  for  moral  excellence, 
for  love  to  Gk>d,  and  faith  in  the  Redeemer,  or  that  learning 
and  human  estimation  can  balance  one  hour  of  that  misep 
able  eternity  in  which  all  is  lost  t 


432  AUTOBIOGSAPHT. 


• 


.''My  heart  overflows  with  grief  and  fear,  and  my  eyes 
with  tears  while  I  write  to  you.  You  must  not  continue 
stupid.  Novo  preeminently  is  with  you  the  accepted  time 
and  the  day  of  salvation.  Trust  not  to  my  prayers ;  that 
would  be  to  hinder  their  efficacy  by  making  them  the  occa- 
sion of  a  deadly  security.  Let  nothing  interfere  now  with 
the  care  of  your  soul.  Balance  not  between  study  and  repu- 
tation and  an  interest  in  Christ. 

''  Study,  if  it  is  no  impediment  to  seriousness,  as  usually  it 
may  not  be ;  but  if  it  is,  give  all  up  till  you  feel  you  are 
raised  from  the  horrid  pit,  and  your  mouth  is  filled  with  a 
new  song ;  and  fail  not  to  let  me  meet  you  and  greet  you  as 
a*child  of  the  Redeemer  when  I  come  down. 

''  Quench  not  the  Spirit ;  pray  without  ceasing ;  believe 
on  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  and  thou  shalt  be  saved !" 

JDr,  Beecher  to  Mrs,  Beecher. 

"New  Haven,  September  2, 1880. 

"  Mt  DBAS  Wife, — I  have  just  read  your  note,  and  un- 
derstand and  feel  all  it  speaks,  and  all  which  is  true  which 
it  does  not  say.  I  know  how  inefi^otual  earthly  affection 
is  to  sustain  your  spirit,  and  yet  mlh  what  accumulating 
weight  sorrow  in  my  absence  may  bear  upon  you  in  your 
hours  of  solitude.  But,  while  I  would  have  you  assured 
that  every  affection  of  my  heart  which  it  b  lawful  to  give 
is  yours,  I  would  not  that  the  vain  experiment  of  deriving 
consolation  from  a  creature  should  detain  yon  from  the  full 
fountain  of  divine  consolation.  ^ 

"The  first  evening  after  my  arrival,  the  regular  confer- 
ence, which  had  been  before  in  a  lecture-room,  was,  by  ring- 
ing of  the  bell,  only  without  previous  notice,  convened  i^ 
the  meeting-house,  and  the  house  was  full  to  overflowing. 
Brother  Nettleton  preached  powerfully,  and  some  were 


CORBBSPONDBKCK,  1820.  433 

awakened.^  Friday  morning,  at  five  o^dock,  attended  a 
prayer-meeting  at  the  lecture-room,  which  was  fall,  and  many 
were  in  tears.  Yesterday,  at  two  o'clock,  attended  in^  col- 
lege a  meeting  of  the  young  men,  who  were  so  far  anxious 
as  to  be  willing  to  meet,  with  acknowledged  reference  to  the 
salvation  of  their  souls.  There  have  heretofore  been  about 
fifty,  including  those  who  have  hope,  which  now  amounts  to 
twenty-two.  Now  these  were  absent,  and  there  were  up- 
ward of  sixty  present  without  hope,  and  in  various  degrees 
afiected — some  deeply. 

*^  The  work  is  moving  on,  I  think,  pretty  rapidly  in  the 
college,  and  with  power  and  great  glory  in  the  city.  But 
in  all,  it  is  a  still  small  voice  by  which  the  kingdom  of  Gk>d 
comes  without  observation.  Last  evening  I  preached  to  a 
crowded  assembly;  to-day  I  am  to  examine  and  address 
those  in  college  who  have  hope,  and  this  evening  to  attend 
a  general  meeting  of  the  students,  and  preach  or  address 
them.  I  have  not  as  yet  been  around  in  the  private  meet- 
ings, in  which  only  the  revival  can  be  seen  to  the  best  effect 
and  felt  with  the  most  power. 

*'  Edward  called  upon  me  soon  after  I  arrived,  and  I  took 
him  immediately  aside  to  weep  and  pray  over  him.  He 
told  me  that  he  had  no  feeling ;  but  it  was  evident  that  he 
did  feel  much.  His  solicitude  and  distress  are,  I  think,  in- 
creasing. When  I  addressed  the  students  yesterday  he  was 
present,  and  was  among  those  who  seemed  to  be  the  most 
overpowered.  I  have  seldom  seen  more  anguish  of  soul  ex- 
pressed in  any  countenance  than  appeared  in  his.  His  con- 
victions, however,  seem  to  be  as  yet  a  sense  of  his  want  of 
conformity  to  God's  law,  and  selfishness,  rather  than  any 
pungent  sense  of  the  evil  of  sin,  attended  by  acute  and  agi- 
tating distress.  I  have  some  hopes  that  it  is  a  work  of  the 
Spirit;  but  I  rejoice  with  trembling. 

T 


434  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

^^Let  all  our  prayers  lay  bim  at  the  footstool,  in  which 
Esther  will  unite  with  us.  He  told  me  this  morning  that 
his  feelings  remained  much  as  yesterday,  and  that  he  did 
not  know  what  to  do— that  the  subject  occupied  all  his 
thoughts.  I  walked  with  him  to  Mr.  Taylor's,  and  left  him 
there  for  Mr.  Taylor  to  converse  with  him. 

^^  My  brethren  Goodrich  and  Taylor  had  often  talked  with 
him,  and  had  been  affectionately  solicitous  for  him  on  his  own 
and  on  my  account.  Oh,  may  the  Lord  make  his  way  pros- 
perous in  his  heart,  that  I  may  see  at  least  one  child  out  of 
danger  and  in  the  ark.  For  the  children  at  home  I  am 
distressed.  Oh,  what  knowledge  and  stupidity  coexist  in 
our  family !  Oh  Lord,  I  have  heard  thy  voice  and  am  afraid. 
Oh  Lord,  revive  thy  work." 


COBSESPOKDE27CS,  1820-21.  435 


CHAPTER  LXn. 

COBBESPONDENCE,  1820-21. 

Dr.  Beecher  to  Mr.  Davies. 

«*  October  12, 1820. 

*'  Bbotheb, — ^I  have  drove  myself  half  to  death  to  get 
this  Review*  ready.  You  mast  not,  however,  print  it  this 
time  *•  with  aU  its  sins  upon  its  head.' 

*^I  insist  that  Taylor,  Goodrich,  and  Fitch  do  hear  it  read 
with  a  carefol  reference  to  sentiment  and  expediency  of 
speech,  subtracting  or  supplying  ad  libitum  to  make  it  what 
it  ought  to  be.  Only  I  must  insist  that  they  act  with  more 
decision  than  they  seem  willing  to  own  they  did  in  voting 
to  publish  Spaulding's  animadversions  on  my  sermon. 

'^  In  short,  after  the  fund  of  discretion  which  I  have  ex- 
hausted  on  the  subject,  I  can  not  consent  to  any  alterations 
which  the  associates  may  guess  would  be  better  while  they 
are  smoking  or  nodding.  . 

*^  To  all  which  their  awakened,  concentrated  intellect  may 
decide,!  will  bow  with  humble  deference.  As  to  the  strokes 
of  the  %  and  dots  of  the  i,  and  every  thing  of  verbal  improve- 
ment, only  make  improvement,  and  no  matter  how  much ; 
the  fewer  sins  the  better. 

"N.B.  —  Too  much  Cowper's  letters  for  one  number. 
Too  long  extracts,  hitched  together  by  short  sentences,  that 
are  neither  one  thing  nor  another  in  a  review. 

"  Rather  than  that  the  work  should  flag,  I  hereby  pledge 

*  Reyiew  of  a  Discourse  before  the  General  Assembly  in  1820 :  Xff  John 
H.  Bice. — Chfittian  Spectator^  October  and  NoTember,  1820. 


436  AirrOHtOGRAPHT. 

myself  to  write,  at  four  weeks'  notice,  on  any  subject  on 
which  you  may  think  I  can  produce  any  thing  better  than 
you  are  likely  to  have,  provided  that  it  is  so  poor  you  do  not 
wish  to  publish  it  only  as  matter  of  necessity.  Call  upon 
me  when  you  wisl^  only  call  in  season,  and  I  will  not  fail, 
health  permitting.*' 

Dt,  Beecher  to  Dr.  Woods. 

«*KoTember  12, 1820. 

ii  ♦  *  ♦  I  most  say  I  have  been  troubled  at  the  com- 
plaints which  have  been  made  at  the  want  of  animation  of 
the  Andover  students,  and  of  the  impression  beginning  to 
be  made  in  favor  of  Princeton  at  the  expense  of  Andover, 
whose  funds,  library,  and  the  learning  and  talents  of  whose 
professors,  as  well  as  the  solid  instruction  and  sound  divin- 
ity there  obtained,  place  that  institution  in  all  respects,  ex- 
cept mere  ixd  cc^andum  glitter,  far  above  any  institution 
of  the  kind  in  this  nation,  and,  9A  I  conceive,  all  things  con- 
sidered, in  the  worid. 

*'The  alleged  deficiency  in  point  of  animation,  or  popular 
eloquence,  is  in  part  real  and  positive,  but,  to  a  considerable 
extent,  only  relative  or  comparative.  I  believe  there  is  a 
false  taste  prevailing  about  eloquence  at  the  South,  and 
threatening  to  make  irruption  into  New  England,  or  to  de- 
coy away  our  inexperienced  young  men. 

"This  makes  it  necessary  absolutely  that  the  positive  de- 
ficiency at  Andover  should  be  remedied ;  for,  much  as  I  am 
disgusted  with  artificial  eloquence,  I  am  still  more  disgusted 
with  learned  dullness.  If  a  man  has  no  feeling,  let  him  not 
attempt  to  preach.    If  he  have  feeling,  let  liim  show  it. 

"  Since  animated  noise  will  accomplish  so  much  without 
ideas,  piety,  or  learning,  it  is  a  shame  that  good  sense,  piety, 
and  learning  should  be  set  at  naught  and  rivaled  by  super- 
ficial flippancy. 


COBBESPOKPENCB,  1820-21.  4Z1 

"  I  say,  therefore,  that  yon  must  remedy  the  defect,  so  &r 
as  it  is  positive.  Tour  preachers  must  wake  up,  and  lift  up 
their  voice.  They  must  get  their  mouths  open,  and  their 
lungs  in  vehement  action,  ffiere  in  your  little  chapel,  and,  if 
need  be,  start  the  glass,  and  heave  the  swelling  sides,  and 
tear  passion  to  a  tatters. 

'*  For  it  is  easy  to  subdue  too  much  feeling  or  violence ; 
but  what  will  become  of  him  and  his  hearers,  who,  in  the 
morning  of  his  days  and  fire  of  youth,  needs  a  mustard-paste 
all  over  his  body  to  stimulate  him  to  animation  ?  I  am  the 
more  earnest  on  this  subject,  because,  if  we  do  not,  in  New 
England  and  at  Andover,  wake  up  to  true  apostolic  elo- 
quence, we  shall  be  overwhelmed  by  the  theatric,  artificial, 
declamatory  flash,  and  start,  and  stare  eloquence  of  theSouUi, 
from  which,  good  Lord,  deliver  us. 

'^I  can  not  tell  you  how  much  I  value  the  plain,  simple, 
energetic,  argumentative  style  of  New  England  preaching. 
It  admits  of  becoming  the  best  pulpit  style  in  the  world,  and 
may  be  improved  indefinitely,  but  must  never  be  given  up. 
Still,  for  the  sake  of  maintaining  our  ground,  and  of  stop- 
ping the  running  of  the  tide  the  wrong  way,  I  would  go,  in 
the  election  of  a  professor,  as  far  as  I  could  go  to  satisfy  by 
popular  oratory  those  who  would  be  formed  on  a  worse 
model,  and  reared  with  less  solid  learning  elsewhere. 

"  I  think,  however,  that  in  the  election  of  Mr.  Spring  no 
such  compromise  will  be  demanded. 

^^He  is  a  New  England  man,  and  his  style  is  New  En- 
gland style ;  and  if  he  has  borrowed  any  thing  from  the 
South  contrary  to  what  is  common  in  such  cases,  he  has  bor- 
rowed excellencies,  not  defects. 

'^I  could  wish  his  delivery  more  animated ;  but,  consider- 
ing the  strength,  pungency,  and  clearness  of  his  style,  and 
his  unconunon  solemnity,!  know  of  no  man  who  includes  in 


438  AUTOBIOGBAPHY. 

his  sermons  and  delivery  so  much  popular  eloquence  in  mat- 
ter and  manner.  I  had  rather  rest  the  cause  of  New  En- 
gland eloquence  and  style  in  his  hands,  associated  with  the 
present  professors  of  Andover,  than  in  the  hands  of  any  man 
I  know.''    *    ♦    ♦ 

Dr.Beeeher  to  Mr.  Comeliua, 

'<  Jannaiy  28, 1S21. 

"In  addition  to  what  the  brethren  said  to  you  at  New 
Haven,  I  wish  to  say  a  few  things  in  my  own  way,  both  be- 
cause, you  know,  a  man  is  strangely  apt  to  like  his  own  way 
beat,  and  also  because,  being  sorely  disappointed  in  not  see- 
ing you,  I  wish  to  soothe  the  pain  by  a  long  letter  from  you, 
half  as  long  as  you  used  to  write  to  Mary  in  this  very  study 
where  I  am  now  sitting,  and  in  the  sight  of  these  eyes  that 
now  watch  the  movements  of  my  pen. 

"  I  write,  then,  to  say  that  more  must  be  done  to  extend 
the  patronage  of  the  Christian  Spectator,  or  it  will  fail,  and 
the  enemy,  roused  by  our  movement,  will  assail  us  without 
sword  or  shield,  or  a  trumpet  even  to  sound  the  alarm — a 
thing  that  must  not  be  aUowed  to  come  to  pass. 

"  A  number  have  looked  this  danger  in  the  face,  and  have 
sold  ourselves  to  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  and  the  Christian 
Spectator  during  the  war,  and  you,  though  not  present,  are 
included  in  the  contract.    ♦    ♦    * 

"  Should  the  work  now  fail,  I  fear  it  may  be  the  last  at- 
tempt to  sustain  a  work  of  this  kind  in  my  day,  and  we  shall 
be  given  over  to  Christian  Examiners  and  North  American 
Reviews — a  calamity  which,  if  we  do  permit,  the  blood  of 
souls  will  be  required  at  our  hands.  The  Unitarians  have 
now  three  periodical  publications,  through  which  they  pour 
out  their  floods  of  heresy  upon  the  community,  while  we 
have  but  one  of  limited  circulation  and  doubtful  continuance. 


C0BRBSF0KDEKC2,  1820-21.  439 

The  enemy,  driven  from  the  field  by  the  immortal  Edwards, 
have  returned  to  the  charge,  and  now  the  battle  is  to  be 
fought  over  again,  to  retain  the  ground  which  was  freely 
given  to  us. 

*'  It  is  concluded  that  the  time  has  at  length  fully  come  to 
take  hold  of  the  Unitarian  controversy  by  the  horns.  A  re- 
view of  Channing,  Stewart,  and  the  Christian  Examiner  is  in 
a  state  of  forward  preparation,  and  will  be,  if  I  do  not  mis- 
take, eminently  able  and  satisfactory.  It  will  be  followed 
by  a  review  of  Dra.  Woods  and  Ware;  and  when  "We  have 
settled  up  our  arrearages,  we  propose  to  pay  orders  at 
sight. 

"  We  feel  the  danger  of  allowing  the  Unitarian  heresy  too 
much  popular  headway,  lest  the  stream,  like  Toleration,  once 
rnnning,  should  defy  obstruction,  and  sweep  foundations 
and  superstructures  in  promiscuous  ruin.  An  early  and  de- 
cided check  followed  up  will  turn  back  this  flood,  and  save 
the  land  from  inundation.  But  to  accomplish  this,  as  Vol- 
taire said  to  the  abb6,  *  We  miiat  be  read.' 

*'  There  is  one  point  of  great  importance  not  mentioned 
in  the  printed  circular.  It  is  the  danger  of  running  down 
orthodoxy  by  the  mental  relaxation  of  reading  i;eligious  in- 
telligence only^  for  the  same  relaxation  which  renders  doc- 
trinal discussions  dry  and  irksome,  will  at  length  beget  a 
disrelish  of  hearing  them  from  the  pulpit. 

*^  And  when  the  mass  of  minds  exercised  by  discrimina- 
tion have  passed  off  the  stage,  we  shall  have  remaining  for 
armor-bearers  only  these  effeminate,  religious-novel-reading 
Christians,  who  at  first  will  hear  with  vacant  eye  our  proofs 
of  Holy  Writ,  then,  with  a  sigh  of  weariness,  wishing  we 
would  not  dwell  so  much  on  disputed  points,  and  next,  with 
a  scowl  of  discontent,  and  the  toss  of  the  nose  at  our  meta- 
physical subtleties  instead  of  plain  preaching,  till  at  last 


440  AUTOBIOOBAFHT. 

enoQgh  may  be  foand  to  unbar  the  gates  of  Zion,  and  let  in 
the  Socinian  shepherd  before  we  are  cold  in  the  grave.  *   ^ 

''And  now,  what  will  yon  do  for  the  Christian  Specta- 
tor ?  Will  you  call  around  you  a  circle  of  your  most  intel- 
ligent Christians,  and  read  this  communication  to  them — 
such  parts  as  you  think  propei^— or  talk  the  subject  up  your- 
self, or  both?  Will  you  exhibit  the  views  I  have  commu- 
nicated to  such  brethren  in  the  ministry  as  may  be  trusted, 
and  attempt  to  stir  them  up  to  take  the  work,  and  introduee 
it  among  their  people  ? 

''As  for  myself,  I  am  willing  to  do  all  that  dast  and  ashes 
can  do.  In  my  own  mind,  I  have  set  apart  four  days  in 
each  week  to  be  devoted  to  close  and  constant  labor  for  the 
Christian  Spectator."    ♦    ♦    * 

Mr.  Comeliu8  to  Dr.Beecher. 

"Salem,  Februaiy  5, 1821. 

"  DsAB  Father  and  Fbiend, — With  a  heart  overflow- 
ing with  affection  and  gratitude,  I  sit  down  to  answer  your 
long  and  invaluable  letter.  ♦  ♦  *  j  f^^j  ^  j^j  fingers' 
ends  every  sentiment  of  your  letter.  My  eyes  have  wept, 
my  heart  h^  bled  over  the  desolations  of  Zion  in  this  part 
of  the  country.  ♦  ♦  *  I  am  as  certain  as  that  I  breathe 
that  Unitarianism  has  been  on  the  steady  advance  ever  since 
the  controversy  of  1 8 1 5 . 

"This  is  not  the  fault  of  Dr.  Worcester  and  his  brethren, 
who  made  such  a  noble  onset  upon  them,  and  threw  their 
ranks  into  such  utter  confusion.  But,  sir,  they  found  them- 
selves stripped  of  their  disguise  by  that  effort,  and  were 
obliged  to  take  the  open  field. 

"From  that  time,  collecting  and  concentrating  their 
forces,  proud  of  the  ascendency  they  know  they  have  gain- 
ed in  the  metropolis,  and  prouder  still  of  the  University, 


COBBBSPONDBNCE,  1820-21.  441 

which  was  all  on  tbeirside,  *  *  *  they  have  been  con- 
stantly  visiog,  and  acq^iiring  more  and  more  confidence.  *   * 

'^  Need  I  say,  my  father  and  friend,  that  when  I  heard  the 
echo  of  your  tmmpet  at  New  Haven  as  you  leaped  upon 
the  battlements  of  Zion  and  soimded  the  alarm,  every  feel- 
ing of  hope  and  joy  of  which  my  soul  is  capable  thrilled 
through  my  heart? 

^' I  read  the  circular  yon  had  written  in  behalf  of  the  Spec- 
tator, and  almost  wished  myself  dismissed  from  my  people 
that  I  might  go  and  i*ead  it  to  every  Christian  minister  and 
soldier  of  the  Lord  Jesus  in  the  country.  I  had  seen  noth- 
ing— ^nothing  before  it  that  looked  at  all  like  resuscitation 
orHfe.    ♦    ♦    * 

*^  I  agree  with  you  in  all  you  have  said  in  the  circular  and 
in  your  letter  about  the  quo  modo  of  conducting  the  work. 
It  must  have  your  old,  and,  I  trust,  never-to-be-forgotten 
character  of  a  good  sermon ;  it  must,  first,  be  heavy,  and, 
second,  hot.  Make  it  heavy  and  hot,  and  it  will  go  and  do 
execution.  Your  son  in  the  Gospel." 

MUractfrom  Circular. 

'^To  illustrate  the  necessity  of  united  effort,  we  need  only 
remark  that  the  enemies  of  the  doctrines  of  the  Reforma- 
tion  are  collecting  their  energies  and  meditating  a  compre- 
hensive system  of  attack,  which  demands  on  our  part  a  cor- 
respondmg  concert  of  action. 

^*In  addition  to  this  organized  system  of  attack,  there  are 
individuals  in  every  part  of  our  country  who  are  filling  the 
land  with  cavils  against  the  doctrines  of  grace,  calculated  to 
unsettle  the  minds  of  multitudes,  and,  if  it  were  possible,  to 
deceive  the  very  elect. 

**This  ubiquity  of  indefatigable  assault  seems  to  require 
a  like  ubiquity  of  indefatigable  defense.    Is  it  not  time,  then, 

T  2 


442  AUTOBJOGRAPHT. 

to  lift  up  an  enmgn  which  may  be  seen  from  east  to  west, 
and  from  north  to.  south,  and  to  somid  a  trumpet  of  alarm 
which  shall  draw  around  the  standard  of  our  Captain  the 
defenders  of  his  faith  ?  For  our  part,  we  can  not  meditate 
on  the  preparations  of  the  enemy  without  solicitude,  or  en- 
dure the  thought  that  the  battle-axe  should  ring  on  the  gates 
of  Zion  before  a  sentinel  awakes,  or  a  note  of  preparation  is 
heard  within. 

«t  ♦  ♦  ♦  -^Q  {q^  ourselves  called  upon,  in  common 
with  the  friends  of  vital  religion  in  every  part  of  our  coun- 
try, under  a  sense  of  common  danger  and  duty,  taking  into 
view  the  religious  interests  of  this  great  and  growing  nation 
for  centuries  to  come,  to  lay  aside  all  prejudices,  if  we  have 
any,  to  forego  in  part  the  demands  of  local  avocation,  and 
even  to  lay  upon  ourselves  additional  burdens,  that  we  may 
at  once  meet  the  enemy  which  is  coming  in  like  a  flood,  and 
fight  on  the  threshold  the  battle  of  the  Lord." 

Dr.  Beecher  to  Mrs,  Beeclver. 

"Hartford,  Febroary  18, 1821. 

«t  This  morning  I  did  expect  to  set  out  for  home ;  but  the 
revival  comes  in  so  like  a  flood  that  I  was  constrained  to 
fed  it  my  duty  to  stay  till  Saturday. 

^^  I  have  never  in  my  lile  before  been  placed  in  a  situa- 
tion in  which  such  demands  for  labor  have  been  laid  upon 
me  with  such  prospects  of  extensive  usefulness.  The  par- 
ticulars I  can  not  state ;  only,  if  I  may  believe  what  is  on  al- 
most every  tongue,  the  city  is  greatly  moved,  and  the  doc- 
trines of  the  Cross  are  roUing  back  the  aspersions  which 
have  been  cast  upon  them,  and  are  becoming  the  power  of 
Ood  to  salvation. 

'^  The  onset  in  this  region  upon  the  churches  has  been 
systematic,  keen,  and  persevering,  and  the  stream  here,  and 


COBBESFONDBNCE,  1820-21.  443 

in  Windsor  and  Wethersfield,  had  began  to  veer  the  wrong 
way,  and,  had  a  practicable  breach  been  made  in  the  mounds 
here,  in  the  heart  of  the  state,  no  one  can  foresee  how  ex- 
tensive the  desolation  had  been. 

^'  At  present  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  is  lifting  np  a  stand- 
ard, and  the  stream  is  beginning  to  flow  in  favor  of  those 
truths  which  have  been  every  where  spoken  against.  But 
its  course  is  not  as  yet  so  settled  and  decided  as  that  con- 
stant effort  a  little  longer  is  not  necessary  to  prevent  a  sud- 
den and  inauspicious  change.  Good  may  be  now  done  by 
a  few  sermons  more  than  a  volume  could  accomplish,  and 
evil  may  come  from  a  little  neglect  which  half  a  century 
may  not  retrieve. 

"  The  first  inquiry  meeting  about  one  hundred  and  thirty 
remained,  and  the  second,  last  evening,  from  one  hundred 
and  fifty  to  two  hundred ;  and  among  those  who  staid  were 
some  gentlemen  who  stand  high  in  character  and  influence 
in  the  city.  Names  can  not  be  mentioned,  but  Brother 
Hawes  says  that  the  revival  is  remarkable  for  its  indiscrim- 
inate power  upon  old  and  young,  high  and  low. 

'^  There  are  searchings  of  heart  and  trembling  in  high 
places.  My  presence  at  the  missionary  meeting  can  by  no 
means  be  so  important  as  here  s^  this  time ;  and  I  am  told 
that  the  universal  opinion  here  is,  among  the  judicious  pi- 
ous, and  even  among  those  gentlemen  who  are  not  pious, 
but  respect  religion,  that  my  assistance  at  the  present  crisis 
is  very  much  demanded. 

''  So  I  commend  you,  and  the  family,  and  the  meeting, 
and  my  people  to  God,  praying  that  I  may  have  grace  to  be 
faithful  and  successful  both  here  and  at  home.'* 


444  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 

Mr.  Cornelius  to  Dr.  Beecher. 

**  Salem,  February  25, 1821. 

t«  *  *  *  Yf^Q  have  had  another  tug  with  Unitarian 
inflaencc,  and,  by  the  help  of  God,  have  come  off  victorious. 

^^SooD  after  Brother  Wisner  gave  his  affirmative  answer 
t»  the  Old  South,  a  council  of  ministers  was  summoned  to 
assist  in  his  ordination,  all  of  whom  were  professedly  ortho- 
dox except  one^  Rev. ^  of  Boston,  who  is  a  decided 

Unitarian.    Two  others,  Dr. j  of  Medford,  and  Dr. 

J  of J  were  not  to  be  depended  upon  in  the 

event  of  an  extremity.  From  twelve  to  fifteen  other  cler* 
gymen  were  invited,  all  of  whom,  with  their  delegates,  were 
of  the  orthodox  stamp. 

^^  Having  taken  this  step,  the  Church  appointed  a  com- 
mittee of  four  or  five  to  make  arrangements,  who,  among 
other  things,  took  it  upon  them  to  assign  the  parts.  Two 
of  this  committee  were  Unitarians,  if  I  am  rightly  informed ; 

one  of  them,  Mr. ,  certainly  was — ^a  Church  member, 

a  decided  enemy  to  orthodoxy,  and  of  very  considerable  in- 
fluence in  the  Church. 

^^The  parts  were  assigned  by  this  committee  in- their  or- 
der and  without  controversy  till  they  came  to  the  right  hand 
of  fellowship,  when said  he  should  make  no  conten- 
tion about  any  other  part,  but  as  to  this,  he  had  promised 
Mr. he  ^hould  use  all  his  influence  to  have  it  assign- 
ed to  him ;  he  therefore  hoped,  as  he  had  given  up  all  his 
wishes  before,  the  brethren  would  now  have  the  liberality 
to  yield  to  him  and  his  friends. 

"  The  orthodox  brethren,  not  reflecting  upon  the  nature 
of  the  right  hand  of  fellowship,  and  wishing  to  preserve 

harmony,  reluctantly  consented.    Mr. was  notified 

of  his  appointment.    It  was  just  such  a  movement  as  Uni- 


COBRBSFONDBNCS,  1820-21  446 

tarians  could  wish.  If  executed,  it  would  be  worth  all  the 
argument  for  separatiofi  for  years.  All  parties  would  un- 
derstand it  as  a  virtual  relinquishment  of  the  principle.  *   * 

^^  The  question  at  issue  was  a  question  of  fellowship  on 
the  part  of  Trinitarians  with  Unitarians.  Having  never 
been  determined,  it  was  possible  that  the  time  had  arrived 
for  separation  openly  to  be  avowed,  or  the  idea  of  it  to  be 
abandoned.  I  can  not  describe  to  you  my  feelings.  I  first 
.  made  up  my  mind  what  was  my  duty  in  the  case,  and  then 
devoted  myself  night  and  day  to  the  information  of  breth^ 
ren  and  laymen,  that  they  might  be  ready  for  the  conflict. 
Brother  Dwight,  of  Boston,  and  Mr.  Evarts  were  no  less  in- 
dustrious. 

^'  On  the  evening  before  ordination  a  few  of  us  got  to- 
gether, and,  after  prayer,  voted  '  that  we  can  not  conscien- 
tiously appoint  a  visible  and  reputed  Unitarian  to  deliver  the 
fellowship  of  ourselves  and  churches  to  Brother  Wisner ; 
that  we  have  ground  to  consider  Mr. as  such  a  Uni- 
tarian, and,  therefore,  that  we  wUl  refuse  to  ratify  his  nomi- 
nation at  any  and  every  hazard.' 

*'This  last  opinion  was  made  up  in  full  view  of  the  great- 
est bugbear  that  I  ever  beheld.  The  thing  had  got  out,  and 
was  matter  of  conversation  in  the  Chtirch.  We  were  told 
by  the  orthodox  part  of  the  Church,  and  by  its  commanding 
members,  that  we  must  yield,  or  Old  South  was  ruined. 
Several  orthodox  men  gave  up  the  point,  and  others  of  high 
character  shook  in  the  wind.  The  rest  of  us  determined  to 
do  our  duty,  let  the  consequences  be  what  they  might.    *    * 

*'  The  morning  came.  Wisner  appeared,  and,  in  the  pres- 
ence of  a  crowd  of  Unitarians,  read  as  orthodox  and  as  good 
a  creed  as  ever  I  heard ;  and  gave  an  account  of  his  relig- 
ious experience,  though  Dr. opposed  it  with  aU  his 

might. 


446  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

"  The  council  then  proceeded  to  appoint  the  parts ;  and 
as  the  battle  was  now  to  be  fought,  the  council  requested  to 
be  alonej  which  was  done,  much  to  the  grief  of  Socinian 
spectators.  We  all  marched  on  in  order,  and  had  no  diffi- 
culty till  we  came  to  the  right  hand,  when  Brother  Walker, 
of  Danvers,  rose  and  nominated  Mr.  Huntington,  of  Bridge- 
water,  and  now  the  action  commenced. 

"  We  had,  however,  the  advantage  of  the  first  nomina- 
tion, and,  of  course,  our  motion  must  be  first  put.    Mr. 

's  friends  earnestly  contended  for  the  nomination  of 

the  Church  or  committee.    Dr. j  and  Dr. ^  and 

»  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  jpined  them,  the  grand  argument  be- 
ing the  nomination  of  the  Church. 

^'I  undertook  its  refutation  by  a  direct  appeal  to  the 
usages  of  the  Church  as  laid  down  in  Mather's  Ratio  Dis- 
ciplinsB,  and  in  a  sermon,  most  providentially  preached  by 

himself  not  three  weeks  before,  giving  a  history  of 

hb  own  Church  and  the  settlement  of  his  predecessors,  from 
which  it  appeared  that  the  assignment  of  this  part  *  *  * 
was  always  claimed  as  belonging  to  the  ordaining  council 
alone.    ♦    *    * 

"At  this  very  moment, ^,  who  had  hitherto  been  ab- 
sent, came  in,  and,  hearing  such  a  sermon  from  a  text  of  his 
own  making,  was,  to  appearance,  not  a  little  moved  by  it. 

"  He  rose  and  acknowledged  what  had  been  said  to  be 
agreeable  to  the  ancient  usage ;  *  *  and  he  intended  to 
have  stated  the  rule  of  order  to  the  committee  who  waited 
on  him,  but  that  it  slipped  his  mind  at  the  time  to  mention  it. 

"  The  dispute  continuing,  and  the  hour  for  the  ordination 
services  having  arrived,  we  were  on  the  point  of  saying 
plainly  and  openly  that  we  should  make  it  matter  of  con- 
science to  oppose  Mr. ^  when  he  himself,  understand- 
ing, I  suppose,  why  he  was  opposed,  and  well  satisfied  that 


COBRBSPONDBKCE,  1820-21.  447 

the  orthodox  party  would  prove  too  strong  for  him,  came 
forward,  and  declined  absolutely  being  a  candidate.  *  *  * 
The  question  was  put,  and  Brpther  Huntington  elected  by  a 
large  majority.  *  *  *  And  the  determination  was  un- 
derstood, not  to  hold  fellowship  with  Unitarians.  ♦  *  * 
^'  Brother  Huntington,  always  excellent,  fidrly  outdid  him- 
self. ♦  *  *  Dr.  Woods  preached  a  flaming  sermon  on 
the  doctrine  of  the  Cross,  in  which  he  came  out  most  bold- 
ly, and  openly  denounced  Unitarianism  as  a  fatal  error.  Oh, 
my  dear  sir,  God  made  it  a  most  auspicious  day  to  the 
cause  of  truth  in  Boston.  Considering  Wisner's  decided 
stand,  his  high  orthodox  creed,  the  tone  of  Dr.  Woods's  ser- 
mon, the  supplanting  of ,  and  the  triumph  of  sound 

principles,  I  can  not  but  feel  that  orthodoxy  has  risen  fifty 
degrees  in  Boston  by  these  events.  *  ♦  *  The  ortho- 
dox will  hereafter  better  understand  their  strength,  and  be, 
I  doubt  not^  better  prepared  for  the  general  conflict  which 
is  fast  approaching."    ♦    *    ♦ 

Dr.  JBeecher  to  Mr.  Cornelius^ 

•«Febrnar3r27,1821. 

"My  dbab  Son, — ^Yours  of  February  6th  came  to  mo 
from  Litchfield,  while  at  Hartford,  engaged  in  the  hottest 
of  the  battle,  preaching,  as  I  trust,  in  demonstration  of  the 
Spirit. 

"The  revival  was  approaching,  but  needed.  Brother  Hawes 
said,  more  impulse  than  his  feeble  health  enabled  him  to 
give.  I  went,  feeling  that  for  four  years  the  doctrines  of 
the  Reformation  had  been  trodden  down  of  the  Qentiles  in 
Connecticut.    *    ♦    * 

"  I  felt  as  if  I  was  called  upon  by  God  to  raise  his  stand- 
ard, wipe  off  the  blots  cast  upon  it,  unfurl  and  expose  to  ev- 
ery eye  its  beauty,  and  defend  it,  laying  down  in  the  dust, 


448  AUTOBIOGIUPHT. 

with  no  gentle  hand,  the  absurd  objections  which  are  array- 
ed at  this  day  against  the  truth. 

^'I  am  sur^  I  never  in  my  life,  in  any  thing,  felt  more 
willing  to  obey  Gk>d  with  all  my  mind,  and  heart,  and  soul, 
and  strength.  My  feelings,  in  attempting  to  explain  and 
defend  the  truth,  were  those  expressed  in  the  motto  from 
Edwards  on  the  title-page  of  my  Park  Street  sermon,  and 
those  which  carried  me  through  the  writing  and  delivery 
of  that  discourse;  and-from  my  feelings,  as  well  as  from 
the  effects  of  my  preaching,  I  am  persuaded  God  was  with 
me. 

^'  I  returned  on  Saturday,  after  being  *there  two  weeks 
except  one  Sabbath,  and  on  Monday  went  to  Salisbury  to 
attend  a  council,  which  detained  me  all  the  week. 

"  When  I  got  home  on  Saturday,  your  letter  of  February 
25  greeted  my  eye  and  cheered  my  heart.  *  *  *  The 
alacrity  and  vigor  with  which  you  have  entered  into  my 
feelings  have  comforted  me  immeasurably. 

"I  saw  the  wolf  coming,  and  thought  surely  some  one 
will  lift  up  his  voice ;  but  on  he  came,  and  all  was  silent.  I 
grew  restless,  distressed,  agonized.  I  wrote  to  Brother  Tay- 
lor such  a  letter  as  I  wrote  to  you,  and  his  heart  responded. 
I  went  to  New  Haven  to  get  up  that  circular,  and,  though 
all  seemed  willing  and  engaged,  it  took  me  nearly  a  fort- 
night to  get  it  done. 

"  And,  after  all,  until  I  wrote  to  you,  I  began  to  fear  that 
all  would  evaporate  in  favorable  words  and  good  resolutions, 
with  which  the  Spectator  establishment  is  already  glutted. 
Yes,  I  began  to  fear  that  it  was  to  be  with  the  churches  as 
it  bad  been  with  the  state,  listless,  falsely  secure,  vainly  con- 
fident, jealous,  envious,  divided,  till  the  banners  of  destruc- 
tion should  wave  over  them. 


( 


CORBESPOKDBZrCB,  1820-21.  449 

*'  Yoa  are  right  in  tbinkiog  the  Unitarians  are  gaining.  / 
Their  power  of  corrupting  the  youth  of  the  commonwealth 
by  means  of  Cambridge  is  silently  putting  sentinels  in  all 
the  churches,  legislators  in  the  hall,  and  judges  on  the  bench, 
and  scattering  every  where  physicians,  lawyers,  and  mer- 
chants. 

♦  4c  .  «  *  *  « 

^^It  is  also  true  that  their  concentration  and  moneyed  re* 
sources  give  them  great  advantages,  which  we  can  balance 
only  by  arousing  and  concentrating  the  energies  of  the  or- 
thodox churches.  This^  this  must  be  our  Jlr9ty  secondy  and 
third  work,  for  when  it  is  fiEurly  done  the  victory  is  won. 

^'  The  Unitarians  can  not  bo  killed  by  the  pen,  for  they 
do  not  live  by  the  pen.  They  depend  upon  action,  and  by 
action  only  can  they  be  effectually  met.  Hitherto  they  have 
had  easy  work  while  mingled  with  the  orthodox,  coaxing 
some,  threatening  others,  and  hampering  all. 

^^They  have  sowed  tares  while  men  slept,  and  grafted 
heretical  churches  on  orthodox  stumps,  and  this  is  still  j;heir 
favorite  plan.  Every  where,  when  the  minister  dies,  some 
society's  committee  will  be  cut  and  dried,  ready  to  call  in  a 
Cambridge  student,  split  the  Church,  get  a  majority  of  the 
society,  and  take  house,  funds,  and  all. 

''  And  there  is  no  remedy  while  the  orthodox  sleep,  and 
Socinians  are  allowed  to  lodge  in  the  same  fold  with  us. 
You  are  right  in  saying  that  the  apathy  of  the  orthodox  is 
more  ominous  than  the  activity  of  the  Unitarians.  It  is 
time,  high  time  to  awake  out  of  sleep,  and  to  call  things  by 
their  right  names. 

♦  ♦♦♦** 

*'In  view  of  such  opinions  and  feelings,  which  have  been 


450  ACTTOBIOGBAPHT. 

long  boUing  in  my  heart  you  know,  while  the  orthodox  at 
the  East  have  slept,  how  cheeiing  was  your  last  letter ! 
My  dear,  good  son,  I  read  it  with  tears  of  thanksgiving 
to  God  that  at  length  that  infamous^  deadly^  tempcrissing 
escpedimcy^  cowardice  policy^  had  found  a  rock  to  strike 
upon  and  experience  shipwreck,  and,  as  I  trust,  once  for 
all. 

^'  Let  the  stand  taken  be  had  in  universal  and  everlast- 
ing remembrance,  and  we  shall  soon  get  the  enemy  out  of 
the  camp. 

"  For  all  your  successful  labors  at  Salem,  Boston,  and  An- 
dover  for  the  Christian  Spectator,!  do  most  profoundly 
thank  you. 

^F  ^p  ^r  V  ^p  V 

"  Tou  know  probably  that  the  Presbyterian  Church  have 
concluded  to  establish  a  periodical  of  their  own,  and  if  they 
do  it  with  vigor  I  shall  not  be  sorry,  for  New  England  is 
able  to  support  and  to  make  a  Magazine  of  her  own. 
♦  *♦**♦ 

****** 
.  ^'Revivals  are  breaking  in  upon  us  in  Connecticut  most 
gloriously.    I  can  not  particularize,  but  I  weep  for  joy  to 
behold  so  dark  and  dreary  a  night  ending  in  so  glorious  a 
morning. 

****** 

^*I  am  worked  almost  to  death,  but  am  now  recruiting. 
A  few  drops  have  just  fallen  upon  us  here,  but  whether  they 
presage  a  shower  I  can  not  tell.  I  have  more  expectation 
than  at  any  time  before  this  three  years.  I  am  going  out 
this  afternoon  to  explore. 

*  *  ♦  «  «  4c 

"And  now,  friend,  son,  and  brother,  go  on.    Wake  up 


COBBXSPONBXKCB,  1 820-2 1.  451 

mmisterB,  form  conspiracies  against  error,  and  scatter  fire- 
brands in  the  enemy's  camp.  The  greater  yoar  havoc,  and 
the  return  of  curses  on  your  head,  the  more  I  shall  love  you, 
and  give  thanks  to  God  on  your  behalf." 


452  AUTOBIOO&Al'HT. 


CHAPTER  LXm 

OVERWORK. 

Avtobiography. 

It  was  not  very  long  after  my  retnm  from  Salem  when 
the  tide  began  to  turn.  For  years  we  of  the  standing  or- 
der had  been  the  scoff  and  by-word  of  politicians,  sectarians, 
and  infidels,  and  had  held  our  tongues ;  bat  now  the  Lord 
began  to  ponr  out  his  Spirit. 

Brother  Hawes,  then  recently  settled  at  Hartford,  sent 
two  of  his  deacons  to  ask  me  to  come  and  help  him  in  a  re- 
vival. I  remember,  when  I  saw  them  and  heard  their  er- 
rand, I  turned  round  and  said,  ^^  Now,  wife,  it  is  my  turn. 
Now  I  will  speak.''  I  went  to  Hartford,  and  the  Spirit  of 
God  was  there.  I  spent  about  three  weeks  in  the  work. 
Preached  all  the  while ;  it  was  a  powerful  revival.  I  wah 
gone  two  Sabbaths,  getting  home  on  Saturday. 

Revivals  now  began  to  pervade  the  state.  The  ministers 
were  united,  and  had  been  consulting  and  praying.  Polit- 
ical revolution  had  cut  them  off  from  former  sources  of  sup- 
port, and  caused  them  to  look  to  God.  Then  there  came 
such  a  time  of  revival  as  never  before  in  the  state. 

I  remember  how  we  all  used  to  feel  before  the  revolution 
happened.  Our  people  thought  they  should  be  destroyed 
if  the  law  should  be  taken  away  from  under  them.  They 
did  not  think  any  thing  about  God— did  not  seem  to.  And 
the  fact  is,  we  all  felt  that  our  children  would  scatter  like 
partridges  if  the  tax  law  was  lost.    We  saw  it  coming.    In 


OYJEBWORK.  468 

Goshen  they  raised  a  fnnd.     In  Litchfield  the  people  bid 
off  the  pews,  and  so  it  has  been  ever  since* 

Bat  the  effect,  when  it  did  come,  was  jnst  the  reverse  of 
the  expectation.  When  the  storm  burst  upon  us,  indeed, 
we  thought  we  were  dead  for  a  while.  But  we  found  we 
were  not  dead.  Our  fears  had  magnified  the  danger.  We 
were  thrown  on  God  and  on  ourselves,  and  this  created  that 
moral  coercion  which  makes  men  work.  Before  we  had 
been  standing  on  what  our  fathers  had  done,  but  now  we 
were  obliged  to  develop  all  our  energy. 

"  On  the  other  hand,  the  other  denominations  lost  all  the 
advantage  they  had  had  before,  so  that  the  very  thing  in 
which  the  enemy  said, "  Baze  it — raze  it  to  the  foundations," 
laid  the  comer-stone  of  our  prosperity  to  all  generations. 
The  law  compelling  every  man  to  pay  somewhere  was  re- 
pealed. The  consequence  unexpectedly  was,  first,  that  the 
occasion  of  animosity  between  us  and  the  minor  sects  was 
removed,  and  infidels  could  no  more  make  capital  with  them 
against  us,  and  they  then  began  themselves  to  feel  the  dan- 
gers of  infidelity,  and  to  react  against  it,  and  this  laid  the 
basis  of  cooperation  and  union  of  spirit. 

And,  besides,  that  tax  law  had  for  more  than  twenty  years 
really  worked  to  weaken  us  and  strengthen  them.  All  the 
stones  that  shelled  off  and  rolled  down  from  our  eminence 
lodged  in  their  swamp.  Whenever  a  man  grew  disaffect- 
ed, he  went  off  and  paid  his  rates  with  the  minor  sects ;  but 
on  the  repeal  of  the  law  there  was  no  such  temptation. 

Take  this  revolution  through,  it  was  one  of  the  most  des- 
perate battles  ever  fought  in  the  United  States.  It  was  the 
last  struggle  of  the  separation  of  Church  and  State. 

About  this  time  my  health  began  to  fail.  I  overworked 
somewhat  in  that  revival  at  Hartford.  Then  I  went  to  a 
council  at  Salisbury,  still  running  down,  but  not  knowing 


454  AUTOBIOOBAFHT. 

what  the  matter  was.  I  had  begun  to  feel  this  debility 
some  time  before  that,  in  a  conncil  at  which  Roger  Minot 
Sherman  was  against  me. 

There  was  a  man  by  the  name  of  P-^ —  settled  at  Shar 
ron  who  went  into  every  thing  but  the  work  of  the  minis- 
try— speculated,  borrowed  money  at  bank,  and  got  aground. 
He  was  brought  before  Consociation.  Father  Mills,  and  an 
old  minister,  Father  Starr,  were  to  prosiBCUte,  and  asked  me 
to  assist.  It  was  a  large  Association,  and  P was  a  tick- 
lish fellow,  and  employed  Roger  Minot  Sherman  to  defend 
him. 

I  went  without  preparation,  supposing  Father  Starr  pre- 
pared. Charges  were  made.  Starr  called  on  the  witness- 
es, and  they  evaded.  That  filled  the  first  forenoon.  They 
slipped  through  his  fingers.  Sherman  saw  how  it  was  go- 
ing, and  whispered  to  P — ; —  that  he  need  not  trouble  him- 
self. The  tavern-keeper  where  I  stopped  knew  every  thing 
about  the  matter.  I  just  took  my  pen  in  the  evening,  and 
asked  him  to  give  me  the  witnesses'  names,  and  what  they 
knew  on  the  several  points. 

Next  session  I  rose  very  meekly  and  quietly,  and  said 
that  I  believed  there  were  a  few  things  that  had  escaped 
Father  Starr,  which  he  had  probably  forgotten.  I  cJled 
up  a  witness;  he  dodged — ^I  boxed  his  ears;  another;  he 
dodged— I  boxed  his  ears ;  and,  finally,  got  out  the  evidence. 
Sherman  said,  *'  Now  we  shall  take  it.''  I  made  the  plea 
clear  through,  knocked  up  his  defenke,  and  they  suspended 
him. 

There  were  some  dozen  or  fifteen  councils  in  which  I  had 
to  manage  cases  while  I  was  in  Litchfield,  and  I  became 
quite  a  lawyer.  Never  succeeded  better  any  where  than  in 
ecclesiastical  courts.  If  I  had  staid  in  Connecticut  I  should 
have  been  occupied  in  such  business  half  my  time. . 


OVERWOBK.  455 

I  remember  one  case  where  I  had  a  severe  conflict,  de- 
fending a  yoang  minister  whose  wife  was  jealoas  of  him. 

Edwards,  the  keenest  lawyer  in  Hartford,  was  against 
him,  and  Judge  Perkins  was  moderator. 

When  I  came  the  jadge  shook  me  cordially  by  the  hand, 
and  said,  smiling,  that  he  pitied  me  that  I  had  such  an  op- 
ponent as  Edwards.  The  evidence  against  him  looked  very 
bad  at  first ;  bat  I  cross-examined  the  witnesses  carefally, 
and  nailed  them  down. 

One  witness,  I  remember,  was  a  schoolmaster,  who  had 
testified  to  defendant's  having  received  visits  from  a  certain 
yonng  lady  at  night.  He  said  he  had  heard  them  talk,  and 
it  actually  made  him  quake  with  hoiTor. 

"How  were  the  rooms  situated?"  I  asked. 

"  One  at  the  southwest,  the  other  at  the  northwest  cor- 
ner of  the  house,''  he  said. 

"  Did  you  hear  what  they  said  ?" 

"No." 

"  Did  you  see  her  go  ?" 

"  No." 

"  Did  you  know  her  voice  ?" 

«  No." 

"Did  you  hear  any  thing  more  than  a  buzz?" 

"No." 

Well,  we  came  to  plead.  Edwards  made  his  plea  and  I 
mine.  As  to  this  witness  that  heard  them  talk,  I  told  them 
it  reminded  me  of  the  story  old  Mr.  Dominie  used  to  tell  me 
in  East  Hampton. 

He  was  a  great  hunter,  and  used  to  hunt  wild  geese. 
One  evening,  he  said,  he  went  down  to  the  great  pond, 
where  there  were  great  flocks  of  geese  feeding.  By  day 
they  kept  out  of  reach,  but  at  evening  they  came  in  and  fed 
by  the  shore.    "  I  had  put  up  a  little  breastwork  on  the 


456  AUT0BX06SAFHT. 


sand/'  Baid  be,  ^  and  lay  behind  waiting.  By-and-bj  I  be^ 
gao  to  bear  them  talk,  talk,  talk — oonkle,  conkle,  oonkle.  I 
trembled.  Heard  'em,  but  oonldn't  see  any  thing.  At  last 
I  drew  up,  took  sight  with  my  ears,  and  fired  at  the  soand, 
and  killed  three !" 

Such  a  burst  of  laughing  as  there  was  in  the  coundl  I 
never  heard.  ^Now,''  said  I,^4t  might  do  to  take  sight 
with  your  ears  in  hunting  geese,  but  not  men.''  Hie  keen- 
est part  of  it  was,  that  when  I  came  to  a  certain  point  in 
the  testimony  that  had  been  taken  when  Edwards  happen- 
ed to  be  out,  he  jumped  up  and  said  that  it  was  not  so.  I 
appealed  to  the  judge,  who  decided  that  it  was.  He  just 
picked  up  his  hat,  turned  on  his  heel,  and  left  the  house. 

That  settled  it.  The  man  was  cleared.  I  saved  hb  ec- 
clesiastical life.  His  wife  was  convinced  of  his  innocence, 
and  thanked  me  with  tears  in  her  eyes. 

But  all  these  things — political  excitement,  revival  effort, 
the  Christian  Spectator,  and  my  parish — ^run  me  down  so 
low  that  I  lost  my  conversational  voice  and  my  susceptibil- 
ities. 

Before  that  I  had  been  as  eager  to  converse  with  the 
awakened  as  a  dog  after  game,  now  I  could  not  converse. 

Whenever  it  was  so  that  I  had  to  drive  myself  to  it  from 
a  sense  of  duty,  I  let  it  alone,  and  waited  for  the  ^^  moUia 
tempora  fandi.'*^ 

I  gave  up  study,  and  tried  hunting  and  fishing.  That 
would  not  do.  Was  in  despair  almost.  Tried  a  journey  to 
Niagara,  but  in  vain.  The  night  I  reached  the  falls  was 
about  as  doleful  as  ever  I  passed.  The  roar,  the  trembling, 
the  creaking  of  the  door,  kept  me  awake  all  night.  At  G^ 
neva,  on  my  way  home,  had  my  tonsils  clipped,  the  begin- 
ning of  my  convalescence. 

Afterward  I  took  a  trip  to  Maine,  but  grew  worse.    In 


OV3&BWOBK.  457 

Boston  I  consulted  Dr.  Jackson,  and  told  him  I  must  die 
soon  if  something  was  not  done. 

He  told  me  it  was  dyspepsia.  Beforait  was  an  nnknown 
disease.  I  thought  it  was  consumption ;  but  he  told  me  it 
was  the  result  of  overwork  and  false  methods,  and  his  pre- 
scriptions helped  me.  From  that  time  I  understood  better 
how  to  treat  my  case. 

U 


458  AUTOBIOaBAFHY. 


CHAPTER  LXIV. 

COBBESPONDEKCB,  1821. 

Dr.  Beecher  to  Mr.  Davies. 

"March  23, 1821. 

"I  hope  my  solidtade  for  the  prosperity  of  the  Christian 
Spectator  will  not  make  me  troablesome  to  yoa.  *  *  ^ 
No  number  ought  to  be  made  up  of  Hobson's  choice/ that 
or  none ;'  and  yon  should  not,  my  friend,  so  trust  Provi- 
dence in  the  neglect  of  means  as  to  get  into  a  comer  every 
number.    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

^^Poor  or  mediocre  pieces  must  not  go  in,  especially  gen- 
eral, unenergetic,  surface  writing.  The  select  readers  for 
whom  we  must  write  will  dip  into  such  pieces  jnst  as  I  do^ 
and  see  and  feel  that  there  is  nothing  but  feeble  common- 
place ideas  polished  a  little,  and  be  disgusted,  and  go  on 
grumbling  in  quest  of  something  which  bears  the  marks  of 
thought  and  intellectual  vigor. 

^  You  can  not  cheat  your  readers.  Many  have  been  vexed 
that  the  first  part  and  last  part  of  the  volume  should  be  so 
good,  and  the  middle,  both  years,  like  a  cheating  load  of 
wood,  made  up  of  looser,  lighter  stuff.  Nor  will  one  good 
piece  on  either  side  of  a  poor  one  in  a  single  number  be  able 
to  atone  for  the  sins  and  infirmities  of  the  piece  ^between. 
The  limping  thing  may  cry  ever  so  piteously  to  its  neigh- 
bors, ^  Give  me  of  your  oil,  for  my  lamp  is  gone  out ;'  but 
none  will  have  any  light  to  spare ;  and  the  space  between, 
though  printed  ever  so  accurately,  will  be  a  space  of  dark- 
ness and  intellectual  barrenness. 


C0BSS8P0in>SKGB,  1821.  450 

^^The  Christian  Spectator  can  and  mnst  be  made  to  be, 
every  page  of  every  month  of  every  year,  clear  as  crystal, 
pure  as  gold,  strong  as  iron,  comely  as  Tirzah,  beautifal  as 
Jemsalem,  and  terrible  as  an  army  with  banners. 

^'  I  have  another  sermon  done  on  Godly  Sorrow ;  and  an 
answer  to  the  question,  ^  What  is  the  precise  meaning  of 
the  Arminian  Self-determining  Power?' 

*'  These,  and  more  if  yon  need,  are  at  your  service ;  but  I 
love  and  need  to  be  pushed,  though  I  think  it  rather  hard 
to  have  to  beg  you  to  push  me.  But  if  you  think  that  I  am 
not  lazy  because  I  have  done  a  little,  I  tell  yon  I  am  lazy, 
and  can  do  as  much  again  for  hard  pushing  as  for  any  thing 
else. 

^^  You  have  received  from  Cornelius- an  account  of  opera- 
tions for  the  Spectator  that  way.  Have  you  done  any  thiog 
to  foUow  up  his  brave  onset?  Such  an  opening  must  not 
be  neglected. 

"  I  inclose  Dr.  Porter's  letter.  I  agree  with  him  that  we 
must  go  to  the  eletpy  menP 

The  Same  to  Edward. 

<<April7,1821. 

*^  Your  letter  awakens  great  solicitude..  It  disdoses  the 
two  prominent  points  in  which  conviction  of  sin  consists — 
the  consciousness  of  criminality  and  helplessness  caused  by 
sin,  and  at  the  same  time,  I  fear,  a  kind  of  orthodox  insensi- 
bility, which  is  a  presage  of  evil  in  the  work  of  the  Spirit, 
as  the  loss  of  excitability  in  a  sick  patient  is  an  omen  of 
death. 

^'I  trust  by  this  time  you  know,  what  I  have  always 
known,  that  my  prayers  can  not  save  you,  having  never 
reached  to  such  fervent  efficacy  as  led  me  to  feel  I  could 
claim  the  promise ;  but  have  constrained  me,  when  I  have 


460  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 

done  all,  to  waive  the  claim  of  promise,  and  rely  only  on  the 
sovereign  mercy  of  God,  and  saying  to  Him  that  if  He  passes 
you  by  He  will  do  you  and  me  no  injustice. 

^'  But,  while  I  say  this,  I  feel  how  dreadful  to  my  soul  is 
the  thought  that  you  shall  never  serve  God  in  the  Gospel 
of  his  Son ;  and  how  still  more  dreadful  that  your  powers 
should  be  forever  perverted,  and  the  perversion  followed 
with  suffering  self-inflicted,  and  also  divinely  inflicted  for- 
ever. 

**  Oh,  my  dear  son,  agoniae  to  enter  in.  You  must  go  to 
heaven ;  you  miLBt  not  go  to  hell  ]  ♦  ♦  *  Do  not,  then, 
measure  over  the  intervening  ways  between  us  and  you 
laden  with  sins  unrepented  and  unforgiven.  Come  to  us 
when  you  return  in  the  fullness  of  the  Gospel.  Oh^come  to 
help  your  &ther  stir  up  the  slumbering  youth  around  him, 
and  help  him  pray  for  other  members  of  the  family  without 
hope.  Come,  begin  to  fulfill  those  hopes  of  your  parents 
which  awoke  with  your  existence,  and  cheered  us  while  we 
rocked  your  cradle  and  traveled  together,  our  pilgrimage 
leading  your  thoughts  and  your  feet  in  the  right  way. 

"  Catharine  is  in  the  same  condition  with  yourself,  except 
that  she  feels  so  strongly  her  inability  that  she  can  not  feel 
her  guilt;  and  I. have  had  much  and  assiduous  labor  with 
her  on  that  point,  and  hope  she  is  quiet.  Her  anxiety  is  great 
at  times,  and  I  fear  she  will  follow  your  footsteps,  and  that 
you  will  both  lay  your  bones  at  the  very  threshold  of  heaven. 

M is  apparently  careless  and  unawakened,  as  is  George, 

excepting  occasional  tenderness  of  conscience  when  particu- 
larly addressed  on  the  subject. 

"William  is  gone  on  trial  to  live  a  month  with  Mr. 
W ;  a  good  place,  but  a  particular,  critical  man." 


COBRESPONDENCB,  1821.  461 

Aimt  Esther  to  Catharine. 

'  «Jane21, 1821. 

"All  things  at  the  Parsonage  are  much  as  usaal.  Poor 
Charlie,  who  is  the  scapegoat  of  the  family,  and  on  whose 
head,  or  rather  on  whose  legs,  all  the  misfortunes  of  the 
house  seem  to  fall,  is  now  quite  lame. 

''  About  a  week  since  he  stepped  barefooted  upon  a  nail, 
and  in  withdrawing  his  foot  fell  and  thrust  the  same  nail 
into  his  knee. 

"  Your  father  goes  to  New  Haven  with  Edward  on  Mon- 
day, and  from  thence  to  Guilford  to  get  your  Aunt  Jane's 
piano." 

Dr:Be€cher  to  Catharine. 

«*  July  10,1821. 

"I  spent  the  last  week  at  New  Haven  and  Guilford.  I 
took  our  piano  to  Psalter,  who  on  Thursday  and  Friday  put 
it  in  as  perfect  tune  as  the  nature  of  the  instrument  admits, 
and  made  it  speak  greatly  to  his  and  my  satisfaction.  He 
said  were  it  his  he  would  not  sell  it  for  $300. 

"Arrived  at  home  with  it  on  Saturday  in  a  state  of  en- 
tire suspense  whether  the  tuning  had  stood,  or  every  note 
would  clash  discord,  ^et  it  up  in  breathless  expectation, 
bid  Mary  to  touch  the  chords,  when,  lo !  they  vibrate  har- 
monious from  end  to  end,  with  two  or  three  exceptions  of 
low  bass,  which  I  have  this  day  put  in  perfect  tune.    *    * 

"  We  are  all  exceedingly  pleased  with  the  instrument ;  it 
is  very  much  the  best  toned  I  ever  heard.  So  you  perceive 
the  goodness  of  God  ceases  not  to  visit  us  with  mercies 
here  as  well  as  you  at  New  London." 


462  AUTOBIOGBAFHY. 

The  Same  to  WiUiam. 

"July  28, 1821. 

"  I  would  have  you  dress  as  Mr.  W thinks  proper 

for  his  business,  always  economical,  and  never  coxcombical ; 
the  first  of  which  leads  to  wealth,  the  second  to  prodigality 
and  contempt. 

^'KI  had  the  money  I  had  as  lief  give  you  twenty  dol- 
lars as  twenty  apples.  I  never  begrudge  to  do  any  thing 
for  the  welfare  or  happiness  of  my  children.  But,  as  things 
now  are,  I  can  not  advance  to  you  or  Edward,  who  abo 
wants  a  watch  to  hang  his  Phi  Beta  Kappa  watch-key  on, 
any  money  for  that  purpose.    ♦    ♦    ♦ 

"Through  the  liberality  of  my  friends  in  college,  who, 
Mr.  Goodrich  taking  the  lead,  have  raised  sixty  dollars  for 
my  journey,  and  provided  a  supply  for  my  pulpit  five  Sab- 
baths, I  set  out  on  Friday,  in  company  with  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Taylor,  Mr.  Silliman,  and  Miss  Gilbert,  from  New  Haven  for 
Niagara  Falls — a  pleasant  tour,  which  I  have  always  hoped, 
but  never  expected  to  take. 

"t^y  26.  I  start  to-morrow  at  four.  H.Wadsworth 
gave  me  to-day  twenty-five  dollars  with  all  his  heart.  I  set 
out  with  a  hundred.  My  hopes  are  of  receiving  benefit. 
Surely  goodness  and  mercy  have  followed  me  all  my  days.'' 

ITie  Same  to  JEchoard. 

"Aagtist  26, 1821. 

'*  The  day  I  left  you  was  dark  and  dreary,  and  I  arrived 
much  fatigued,  but  glad,  with  all  the  feeling  of  which  I  was 
capable,  to  get  home.  Saturday  not  well,  and  part  of  the 
day  went  down  to  the  sides  of  the  pit.  To-day,  beyond  ex- 
pectation, have  preached  two  sermons,  and  performed  all 
the  services  but  one  of  the  prayers.    Have  had  a  regular 


COBBBSPOKDXNCB,  1821.  468 

appetite,  and  am  comfortable  this  eyening.  Dr.  Sheldon 
says  that  my  voice  indicated  to-day  that  my  longs  are  not 
affected. 

^^  I  preached  in  the  morning  upon  the  Omnipotence  of 
Ood,  and  brought  in  the  description  of  the  falls,  with  reflec- 
tions and  an  application ;  the  first  time,  I  presume,  that  any 
one  has  preached  the  Falls  of  Niagara. 

^  I  spoke  with  ease  and  animation,  and  it  was  a  luxm*y  to 
find  myself  emerging  from  a  cipher  into  a  preacher.  Still,  I 
am  not  well,  and  Dr.  Sheldon  says  I  had  better  make  my  ar-. 
rangements  to  take  the  eastern  voyage." 

Edward  to  Mrs,  JFoote. 

<*  September  29, 1821. 

^^  Father  and  mother  are  absent  on  a  visit  to  Machias, 
Midne.  I  am  conmiander-in-chief  out  of  dooi*s,  and  Aunt 
Esther  in  doors.  We  can  not  board  the  young  lady  you 
mention,  as  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Brace  occupy  one  part  of  our 
house,  and  other  boarders  as  much  of  the  rest  as  can  be 
spared. 

'^Aunt  Esther  discharges  the  duties  of  her  station  with 
her  usual  fidelity  and  discretion.  Mary  is  qualifying  her- 
self to  take  Catharine's  place  in  the  school  at  New  London, 
in  music  and  drawing.  George  is  qualifying  himself  to  take 
my  place  in  college,  which  he  will  never  do  unless  he  studies 
more  than  he  does  now.  Harriet  reads  every  thing  she  can 
lay  hands  on,  and  sews  and  knits  diligently.  Heniy  and 
Charles  go  to  school — ^Henry  as  sprightly  and  active,  and 
Charles  as  honest  and  clumsy  as  ever. 

^'And  what  shall  I  say  more?  Shall  I  speak  of  our  or- 
chard, from  which  the  gale  blew  off  apples  enough  for 
twenty  barrels  of  cider,  and  wherein  are  yet  cider  and  win- 
ter apples  without  number  ? 


404  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

*^  Or  of  onr  cellar,  wherein  are  barrels  small  and  great, 
moreover  bins,  boxes,  and  cupboards,  which  I  have  arranged, 
having  cleansed  the  cellar  with  besom,  rake,  and  wheelbar- 
row? 

^'  Or  of  our  garden,  in  which  are  weeds  of  divers  kinds, 
particularly  pig ;  yea,  also  beets,  carrots,  parsnips,  and  pota- 
toes, the  like  whereof  was  never  seen  ? 

"Hear,  now,  the  conclusion  of  the  whole  matter.  The 
&mily  at  Litchfield  to  the  family  at  Guilford  sendeth  greet- 
ing, hoping  we  may  meet  again  in  this  world,  and  rejoice 
together  in  the  next." 

Dr,  BeecJier  to  Catharine. 

**  Boston,  October  20, 1S2I. 

"  Your  mother  leaves  for  Hartford  by  stage  to-morrow. 
Dr.  Jackson  wishes  me  to  stay  a  little  longer.  I  shall  return 
in  the  New  Haven  packet  with  Captain  Collis  by  water, 
which  suits  me  best.  *  *  *  ]^y  complaints  are  caused 
by  debility  of  stomach,  producing  indigestion,  acidity,  de- 
pression, and  a  multitude  of  aches  and  pains.  Nevertheless, 
my  fiiends  keep  saying,  ^Why,  how  well  you  look!'  and 
urge  me  past  endurance  to  preach. 

"Depression  is  an  invariable  symptom  of  the  disorder, 
and  mine  at  times  exceeds  any  thing  I  ever  experienced. 
It  VA  flesh  and  heart  failing.  It  is  desolation  like  a  flood, 
and  extinguishes  at  times  all  hope  that  I  shall  recover  my 
health  and  usefulness.  ♦  ♦  ♦  I  requested  Dr.  Jackson 
to  tell  me  plainly  and  honestly  his  opinion.  He  said  he  did 
not  regard  my  case  as  dangerous.  Felt  persuaded  I  should 
recover,  though  it  would  be  the  ascent  of  a  U>ng  hill,  with 
occasional  descents.    *    *    * 

"  The  revival  in  Litchfield  is  great  and  rapid.  How  good 
is  the  Lord  I    Some  have  suggested  to  me,  perhaps  God 


COBBESPONDBKCS,  1821.  465 

has  granted  this  success  in  my  absence  to  humble  mc,  as  if 
mj  pride  were  likely  to  be  touched  by  such  a  thing. 

^'That  the  event  will  humble  me  I  earnestly  hope,  but  it 
will  be  by  such  a  sense  of  his  undeserved  goodness  in  send- 
ing me  away  when  I  could  not  endure  the  labor  of  bringing 
forward  a  revival,  and  in  sending  to  be  the  instrument  one 
whom  of  all  others  I  should  have  chosen  to  leave  my  people 
with  at  such  a  time." 

Dr.  Beecher  to  JEdtoard. 

"NoTcmberB,  1S21. 

"We  arrived  at  Litchfield  the  same  day  before  seven,  and 
I  felt  better,  and  less  weary  than  when  I  left  New  Haven. 
Next  day  a  day  of  trial  in  meeting  friends,  and  shaking 
hands,  and  of  quaking  nerves.  Sabbath  better.  Went  to 
meeting,  and  administered  sacrament  in  the  morning ;  and 
after  Mr.  Nettleton's  sermon,  talked  and  exhorted  thirty  min- 
utes, imd  felt  better.  Yesterday  better  still — ^the  best  day 
for  two  months.  To-day  not  as  well,  though  I  have  been 
able  to  saw  four  sticks  of  quartered  wood,  and  think  I  shall 
be  able  to  get  up  to  the  capability  of  such  exercise,  which 
will  be  a  great  thing,  you  know. 

"  The  revival  was  more  powerful  last  week  than  at  any 
time  before ;  and  the  Sabbath  was  blessed,  I  think,  still  to 
advance  it  greatly.  Nettleton's  preaching  and  my  exhoita- 
tion  seemed  to  have  great  effect. 

"  Drs.  Sheldon  and  Abby  examined  to-day  Charles's  knee. 
It  is  swelled,  and  there  is  the  appearance  of  matter  of  some 
kind,  and  danger  of  a  white  swelling,  unless  by  incision  or 
blisters  it  can  be  extracted ;  the  latter  course  will  be  tried 
first.  Mr.  Nettleton  will  continue  for  the  present,  but  I  had 
hard  work  to  keep  him  on  the  Sabbath." 

U2 


466  ▲UTOBIOGBAPBy. 

The  Same. 

«  November  18, 1821. 

*'  My  health  mends  slowly,  but  I  am  still  under  the  rod 
of  dyspepsia,  and,  with  utmost  care,  can  not  escape  much 
pain,  and  fear,  and  fog,  and  depression. 

''  I  preached  Sabbath  evening  an  extempore  sermon  of 
half  an  hour  at  a  moment's  warning,  Brother  Netdeton  fail- 
ing from  sore  throat  and  hoarseness  during  the  singing  im- 
mediately preceding. 

^'  It  was  about  as  good  as  I  wished.  The  impression  for 
the  time  never  greater  when  I  have  spoken ;  iro  injury  sus- 
tained. Monday  attended  inquiry  meeting,  and  gave  a 
short  exhortation.  Between  fifty  and  sixty  have  hope ;  but 
few  new  cases,  and  but  little  done  to  extend  the  work.  Inr 
ter  no8.  Brother  Nettleton  has  relaxed  all  exertions  as  to 
visiting  and  efforts  to  push  and  extend  the  work  except  on 
the  Sabbath  and  in  lectures,  and  is  becoming  unwell,  in  part 
from  loss  of  stimulus  and  inaction.  He  is  gathering  in  the 
awakened  and  banding  the  converts,  and  seems  indisposed 
to  make  any  more  work  for  himself.  I  am  troubled,  but 
can  not  say  or  do  any  thing. 

"There  is,  however,  a  growing  pressure  of  truth  on  the 
mind  of  the  congregation,  which,  if  attended  to,  might,  and 
I  hope  will,  break  out  in  a  new  edition  of  the  revivaL" 

Catharine  to  Mrs,  Foote. 

"  Norember  28, 1821. 
C4    «    *    *    Papa  is  still  much  out  of  health.    Charles 
is  confined  with  blisters  on  his  knee  to  remove  a  white- 
swelling.    Mamma's  health  is  pretty  good. 

"  Aunt  Esther  will  live  here  this  winter ;  but  her  health- is 
feeble,  so  that  we  are  a  pretty  miserable  company;  and  one 


COSKBSPONDBNGB,  1821.  46? 

while  I  was  the  only  grown  person  m  the  whole  family, 
servants  and  all,  that  was  really  well. 

^^I  have  been  very  much  prospered  this  summer;  and, 
after  paying  all  my  expenses  at  New  London  and  journey,  I 
had  a  hundred  dollars,  all  of  my  own  earnings,  left.  We 
have  four  boarders  besides  our  own  sick  folks,  so  that,  if 
you  are  lonesome  for  want  of  children,  we  could  easily  spare 
Henry  or  Harriet." 

Br.  Beecher  to  Edward. 

'<Decemb^  6, 1821. 

"  DsAs  Son, — *  *  ♦  This  is  the  first  moment  for  sev- 
eral weeks  I  have  felt  as  if  I  could  sit  down  and  write  to 
you,  for  either  the  state  of  the  family  has  been  so  distress- 
ing, or  I  have  personally  felt  so  bad  as  to  preclude  writing. 

**  But  now,  for  two  days  past,  the  doud  has  lifted  up,  and 
some  light  has  broken  in  upon  my  heart.  The  spasms  in 
Charles's  limb  have  ceased.  The  limb  has  become  straight, 
and  the  swelling  is  greatly  reduced ;  whether  cured  or  not 
we  can  not  yet  rightly  determine.  For  three  days  past  my 
own  health,  held  in  check  by  a  cold  and  by  family  distress, 
has  risen,  so  that  few  Thanksgivings  have  been  to  me  more 
pleasant  than  this. 

*^  I  could  not  but  regret  that  you  were  absent,  when  all 
the  children,  from  Catharine  to  Charles,  sat  down  at  the 
same  table,  and  had  not  extra  expenses  incurred  forbid,  I 
should  have  sent  for  you  to  come  home  in  the  stage.  *  * 
Mr.Nettleton  has  returned,  after  an  absence  often  days,  in 
better  health,  and,  as  near  as  I  can  conjecture,  intends  to 
stay  some  time  longer,  perhaps  till  spring ;  but  this,  you 
know,  is  uncertam,  as  all  things  are.  The  revival  is  not  as 
rapid  as  in  the  beginning,  but  is  going  on." 


468  AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 

Dr.  JSeecher  to  Mr.  Davies, 

''December  31, 1821. 

"It  is  important  that  short  paragraphs  be  written  in 
every  number  respecting  the  signs  and  duties  of  this  time 
in  connection  with  a  record  of  passing  events,  constituting, 
or,  rather,  creating  and  guiding  in  the  public  mind  a  train 
of  proper  thinking  on  important  .subjects^  keeping  them  in 
mind  by  repetition,  and  moulding  the  public  mind  to  be  as 
it  ought  to  be. 

"  By  such  means  Voltaire  and  his  coadjutors  eradicated 
the  superstitions  of  popery,  and  planted  and  reaped  the 
whirlwind  of  the  French  Revolution,  which  was  Atheism 
sweeping  with  the  besom  of  destruction. 

"By  the  same  constant  dropping  the  federal  administra- 
tion was  undermined,  and  the  nation  ingulfed  in  the  follies 
and  miseries  of  democracy.  By  the  same  means  the  Reg- 
ister in  your  little  city  is  attempting  to  poison  and  pervert 
the  public  mind.  And  if  by  such  means  they  who  are  wise 
to  do  evil  have  accomplished  so  much, 

<(  *  Matemur  dypeos,  fas  est  ab  hoste  doceri.' 

"Let  me  add,  also,  that  in  the  year  to  come  the  work 
should  become  more  discriminating  and  powerful  in  doc- 
trine, and  more  practical  and  experimental  also ;  more  irk- 
some to  the  carnal  heart,  more  pungent  in  its  applications 
to  the  conscience,  and  more  Bazterian  and  Edwardean  in 
spirit,  though  conducted  still  with  reference  to  purity  of 
style  and  classical  correctness.'* 


COSRESPONBENCS,  1822.  469 


CHAPTER  LXV. 

COBBESFONDENCE,    182  2. 

Brof,  Goodrich  to  Dr.  Beecher, 

"Tale  College,  JanoATj  6, 1822. 

<'  My  db^b  Bbotheb, — I  thank  you  for  the  frankness  and 
warmth  with  which  you  have  spoken  in  your  last  letter ;  it 
is  the  strongest  testimony  of  friendship.  At  the  same  time, 
I  am  rejoiced  to  find  from  your  letter  itself  (as  I  had  always 
understood  before)  that  yon  differ  from  me  in  nothing  on  ^ 
this  point  unless  it  bo  in  phraseology. 

"  The  opinions  advanced  in  my  theological  lecture  were, 
totidem  verbis^  the  exact  opinions  of  Edwards  at  the  conclu- 
sion of  his  treatise  on  Original  Sin ;  the  statements  which  I 
condemned  as  unguarded  are  the  very  statements  which 
Edwards  coinplsdns  of  Taylor  for  attributing  to  C^vinists, 
and  which,  he  says,  ^  do  not  belong  to  the  doctrine,  nor  fol- 
low'from  it;'  and  the  solution  which  I  gave  of  the  fact  that 
all  men  sin  from  the  first  moments  of  moral  agency  is  the 
exact  solution  given  by  Edwards  in  the  passage  referred  to. 

"  I  have  only  to  add  that  my  own  opinions  were  formed 
long  before  I  read  Edwards  on  this  subject,  and  that  I  ex- 
pressed them  many  years  ago  to  Brother  Taylor,  whom  I 
found  to  accord  with  me  entirely,  as  the  necessary  result 
of  the  immovable  principles  established  in  the  treatise  on 
*  Freedom  of  Will.' 

"  Whati  then,  have  I  maintained  ?  That,  previous  to  the 
first  act  of  moral  agency,  there  is  nothing  in  the  mind  which 
can  strictly  and  properly  be  called  sin — nothing  for  which 
the  being  is  accountable  to  God.    This  you  affirm  in  direct 


470  AXTTOBIOGSAPBT. 

terms.    ^That  they  (infants)  have  accoontable  dispositions 
or  exercises  neither  you  nor  I  believe.' 

"  Bat  can  that  for  which  a  being  is  not  accountable  be 
strictly  and  prcperly  denominated  sinfulness?  Then  the 
brute  creation  are  sinful  in  all  the  injuries  they  inflict;  then 
there  is  transgression  ^  where  there  is  no  law,'  and  no  possi- 
bility of  understanding  a  law ;  where  there  is  no  -moral 
sense,  and  no  capacity  of  distinguishing  or  choosing  between 
right  and  wrong* 

^'Both  you  and  Dr.  Woods  will  agree  with  us  in  main- 
Uuning  that  there  is  no  sin  previous  to  moral  agency.  This 
he  expressly  declares,  and  you  likewise. 

^^But  there  is  in  the  human  constitution  some  permanent 
and  adequate  cause  of  the  great  fact  that  every  individual 
of  our  race  sins  from  the  moment  that  he  can  sin ;  ».  0.,  from 
the  moment  of  moral  agency.  This  fact  can  not  be  account- 
ed for  by  the  force  of  example,  education,  etc. ;  there  must 
be  a  reason  or  cause  in  the  structure  of  our  constitution. 

*'  Having  reached  this  point  in  my  statement,  and  having 
enlarged  on  the  absolute  necessity  of  supposing  such  a  cause 
of  great  intensity  and  universal  prevalence,  I  stated  to  the 
class  that  this  cause  was  frequently  said  to  be  sinful;  that 
such  language,  in  my  view,  meant  only  that  it  terminated  in 
sin  from  the  moment  that  sin  was  possible  in  a  human  be- 
ing.   *    ♦    * 

'^  When  I  began  to  write  it  was  my  intention  to  confine 
myself  to  a  single  sheet,  but  I  was  impelled  forward,  and 
had  no  time  to  condense  and  transcribe.  If  you  do  not  al- 
ready accord  with  me  in  the  views  which  have  now  been 
taken,  I  am  perfectly  convinced  you  will  on  investigation,  for 
there  are  great  principles  respecting  the  accountable  charac- 
ter of  man  which  must  conduct  you  to  these  conclusions. 

"As  to  the  expediency  of  disclosing  these  sentiments  I 


COBBBSPONDSNCE,  1822.  471 

am  wholly  Batisfied.  Truth  oan  never  suffer  by  discussion. 
When  Edwards  yielded  to  the  Arminians  that  man  has  the 
natural  ability  to  do  his  duty,  the  universal  cry  among  Cal- 
vinists  was, '  He  has  abandoned  the  doctrine  of  election  and 
regeneration.'  Such  will  always  be  the  case  with  those 
who  consider  a  doctrine  as  inseparably  connected  with  the 
theory  or  solution  which  they  have  attached  to  it.  But  the 
doctrine  of  total  depravity  stands  unmoved  when  the  the- 
ory of  a  distinct  principle  of  depravity  before  moral  agency 
is  taken  away,  just  as  the  doctrine  of  regeneration  was  un- 
shaken by  the  removal  of  the  pernicious  notion  of  natural 
inability.  Yes ;  and  the  same  advantages  arise  from  the  re- 
jection of  the  former  theory  which  resulted  from  the  aban- 
donment of  the  latter. 

"On  my  statement  of  the  subject,  the  complaint  is  taken 
away  from  the  enemies  of  truth  that  we  make  Gk>d  the  au- 
thor of  sin  in  our  constitution  previous  to  voluntary  agency; 
anH  the  whole  guilt  of  our  totsd  apostacy  is  brought  to  press 
on  the  conscience  of  the  man  himself,  who  is  the  sole  author 
of  his  rebellion." 

Dr, to  Dr.  Nettkton  {then  laboring  in  a  Itevival  at 

L ). 

"JannaT7l7,1822. 

"My  dear  Bbothss, — But  the  day  before  I  received 
your  letter  I  had  been  meditating  an  essay  on  the  doctrine 
of  Original  Sin,  which  was  to  have, been  exhibited  before 
our  ministers'  meeting  which  was  held  here  on  Tuesday. 

"  But  in  attempting  to  arrange  my  thoughts  on  the  sub- 
ject, I  perceived  that  many  parts  needed  a  closer  examina- 
tion and  a  more  protracted  discussion  than  I  had  yet  given 
them.  I  therefore  deferred  the  matter,  with  the  intention 
of  soon  taking  it  up,  and  forming  my  opinion  respecting  it. 


472  AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

I  confess  I  was  not  a  little  glad  that  I  did  not  commit  my 
thoughts  to  paper  and  exhibit  them  to  my  brethren,  after 
having  received  your  letter,  for  I  found  that,  had  I  done  this, 
I  should  have  taken  ground  which  to  you  seems  untenable 
and  fraught  with  mischief. 

*'  For  some  time  past  I  have  noticed  a  leaning  of  my  mind 
to  Jiereay  on  this  long-disputed  and  very  difficult  topic 
With  you  I  fully  agree  that  the  grand  dbpute  with  the  lib- 
erals should  be,  not  respecting  innate,  but  total  depravity. 
We  meet  the  enemy  on  very  disadvantageous  ground  when 
we  attempt  to  determine  when  man  becomes  a  moral  agent, 
or  what  he  is  before  he  becomes  a  proper  subject  of  moral 
government.  Could  this  point  be  settled,  nothing  impor- 
tant would  be  gained.  The  Bible  contemplates  man  as  a 
moral  agent^  placed  under  law,  and  capable  of  obeying  or 
disobeying.  Viewing  him  in  this  light,  his  character  is 
clearly  defined ;  and  the  preacher  who  looks  not  at  man  in 
this  light,  sees  nothing  that  is  tangible — nothing  upon  which 
he  can  bring  the  truth  of  God  to  bear. 

^'  Grant  that  the  infant  mind,  or  the  mind  anterior  to  its 
acting  as  a  moral  agent  (if,  indeed,  it  ever  does  so  exist),  is 
innocent  and  pure,  this  does  not  determine  its  character 
when  acting  under  law.  The  whole  inquiry,  so  far  as  con- 
troversy is  concerned,  should  be.  What  is  the  character  of 
man  as  a  subject  of  God's  government  ?  Settle  this,  and  I 
care  not  how  the  other  inquiry  is  disposed  of. 

"  Should  Brother.Taylor,  or  any  one  else,  say  publicly  that 
there  is  no  innate  depravity  in  man — ^that  there  is  no  bias, 
propensity,  or  disposition  toward  sin,  the  Unitarians  will 
just  send  out  a  boat  to  tow  him  in.  They  will  shout  vic- 
tory. I  hope,  therefore,  that  nothing  of  this  kind  will  be 
advanced  in  the  Spectator.  In  reviewing  Dr. Woods,  Broth- 
er Taylor  must  be  guarded. 


COBBESPOKDENCS,  1822.  473 

^^  At  the  same  time,  I  must  confess  I  can  not  accede  to  the    ^ 
common  views  of  the  doctrine  of  original  sin.    Voluntary    H 
agency  seems  to  me  indispensable  to  accountability.    Witli- 
out  voluntary  exercises  or  affection,  there  can  be  neither 
holiness  nor  sin. 

"  Nor  is  this  all.  There  must  be  a  knowledge  of  duty,  or 
the  power  of  distinguishing  between  right  and  wrong.  ^ 
Without  such  perception  of  rule,  I  do  not  see  how  blame 
can  exist.  The  child  does,  it  is  admitted,  very  early  show 
signs  of  anger  and  selfishness ;  but  if  it  has  no  knowledge 
of  duty,  no  sense  of  moral  obligation,  wherein  do  these  feel- 
ings differ  from  like  exercises  in  brutes  ? 

'*  But  I  can  not  proceed.  You  see  I  am  in  difficvUy^  and 
should  be  much  obliged  to  any  one  to  help  me  out. 

"  I  am  happy  to  hear  so  good  news  from  Litchfield.  Give 
mj  most,  affectionate  regards  to  Dr.  Beecher  and  family. 
Tell  him  my  hands  have  been  so  full  that  I  have  hardly 
touched  that  review.    I  hope  soon  to  enter  upon  it. 

^'  I  had  concluded  not  to  send  this  scroll ;  but  Dr.  Beecher 
may  take  it.  The  gentlemen  at  New  Haven  must  take  care. 
This  proclaiming  their  hasty  opinions  upon  the  housetop 
will  do  infinite  mischief." 

Dr,  Beecher  to  George  Foote, 

<' January  24, 1S22. 

"De4.r  Bhotheb, — With  this  you  will  receive  Harriet, 
whom  we  commit  to  mother,  Harriet,  and  you  during  win- 
ter. She  intends  to  be  a  good  girl,  and  I  hope  will  be  a 
comfort  to  you  all. 

"  We  are  all  at  home  getting  better.  The  first  four  weeks 
after  my  return  was  a  scene  of  great  family  trial.  It  seemed 
at  several  times  as  if  we  should  be  obliged  to  give  up,  and 
call  upon  our  neighbors  to  take  care  of  us.  But  things  are 
now  more  pleasant  and  encouraging. 


474  AUTOBEOaBiPHY. 

"  We  have  lately  had  a  visit  from  Professor  Fisher,  which 
has  terminated  in  a  settled  connection,  much  to  my  satisfao- 
tion  as  well  as  of  the  parties.  He  goes  to  Europe  in  the 
spring,  returns  in  a  year,  and  then  will  expect  to  be  mar- 
ried." 

CcUharme  to  Marriet, 

*<Febniary25, 1822. 

"  I  suppose  you  will  be  very  glad  to  hear  you  have  a  lit- 
tle sister  at  home.    We  have  no  name  for  her  yet. 

^'  We  all  want  you  home  very  much,  but  hope  you  are 
now  where  you  will  learn  to  stand  and  sit  straight,  and  hear 
what  people  say  to  you,  and  sit  still  in  your  chair,  and  learn 
to  sew  and  knit  well,  and  be  a  good  girl  in  every  particu- 
lar ;  and  if  you  don't  learn  while  yon  are  with  Aunt  Har- 
riet, I  am  afraid  you  never  will. 

^*  Old  Puss  is  very  well,  and  sends  his  respects  to  you, 
and  Mr.  Black  Trip  has  come  out  of  the  bam  to  live,  and 
says  if  you  ever  come  into  the  kitchen  he  will  jump  up  and 
lick  your  hand,  or  pull  your  frock,  just  as  he  serves  the  rest 
of  us.  Henry  and  Chartes  love  to  play  with  him  very 
much." 

to  JEdward. 


<<March7,1822. 

ic  «  «  «  Jj^t  Sunday  was  sacrament  day,  and  thirty- 
six  were  admitted  to  the  Church,  and  ten  or  twelve  baptized. 
It  was  very  solemn.  The  revival  is  going  on  still,  though 
not  powerful.  I  fear  it  will  pass  over  like  others,  and  none 
of  our  family  feel  its  influence. 

*'  I  know  it  is  whst  our  dear  father  and  mother  most 
earnestly  desire  and  pray  for,  but  as  yet  their  prayers  re- 
main unanswered.    I  feel  as  much  as  any  one  can  the  neces- 


C0BBBSP02n)ENCB,  1822.  475 

sity  of  a  change,  and  still  can  not  feel  sorrow  for  sin,  and  it 
sometimes  seems  to  me  I  never  shall." 

Dr.JBeecher  to  Edward, 

"March  14, 1822. 

it    ♦    ♦    ♦    "The  attention  to  religion  increases  as  to  the 

number  of  inquirers.    ♦    *    ♦    iYour  letter  to was 

pertinent  and  timely.  I  followed  up  the  impression  by 
preaching  upon  ^Many  shall  seek  to  enter  in,  and  not  be 
able.'  The  effect  was  powerful  on  the  congregation,  but  at 
home  as  usual. 

^^Both  are  serious ;  neither  enough  so  to  give  themselyes 
seriously  to  the  subject.  *  *  *  jj^ y  health  improves  as 
usual,  up  hill  and  down — ^the  up  hill  a  little  the  longest. 
Mother  rises  slowly.  We  are,  on  the  whole,  in  a  better 
state,  though  not  out  of  the  furnace  yet.  God  grant  we 
may  come  out,  and  come  out  purified." 

The  Same. 

«  March,  1822. 

^*  HifW'ever  unexpected  and  wonderful  it  may  seem  that  a 
thing  regarded  so  difficult  as  your  conversion  should  at  last 
become  a  reality,  you  are  not  the  first  who  has  felt  so.  It 
is  also  a  feeling  which  no  lapse  of  ages  will  obliterate  from 
the  heart.  The  reality  of  the  fact  will  become  unquestion- 
ed, but  the  wonder  will  increase  forever. 

^'  One  of  my  parishioners  at  East  Hampton,  converted 
after  having  lived  through  three  or  four  revivals  to  the  age 
of  fifty,  and  having  given  up  hope,  used  to  exclaim  for  sev- 
eral weeks  after  his  change, '  Is  it  I !  Am  I  the  same  man 
who  used  to  think  it  so  hard  to  be  converted,  and  my  case ' 
so  hopeless  ?    Is  it  I — ^is  it  I  ?    Oh  wonderful,  wonderful  T  " 


476  ACTOBIOGBAPHT. 

271^  Same. 

«March28, 1822. 

«  *  ♦  ♦  "phe  revival  has  at  no  time  been  so  promis- 
ing since  my  return  as  now — eighty  or  ninety  at  the  inquiry 
meeting  last  night.  *  *  *  The  children  at  home  all 
stupid.    I  know  not  what  to  do. 

'^  I  hope,  when  you  come  home,  you  may  be  the  occasion 
of  good.  *  *  *  As  to  your  practical  course,  it  is  my 
advice  and  wish  that  you  take  your  stand  early  at  the  post 
of  duty,  for  no  inconsiderable  part  of  your  evidence  is  to 
arise  from  action,  or  the  effect  of  it. 

"I  would  have  you,  as  you  are  able,  put  your  hand  to  the 
work;  and  I  the  more  desire  it, because  it  will  prepare  you 
to  consummate  one  of  my  most  delightful  earthly  anticipa- 
tions, that  of  having  you  lead  at  times  in  the  devotions  of 
your  father's  family,  and  of  aiding  him  in  conference  meet- 
ing and  other  ways,  for  which  there  will  be  ample  oppor- 
tunity if  the  work  goes  on  according  to  promise." 

The  Same. 

*' April  1, 1822. 

"Catharine  has  been  sick  three  days,  the  first  in  acute 
distress.  I  had  been  addressing  her  conscience  not  twenty 
minutes  before.  She  was  seized  with  most  agonizing  pain. 
I  hope  it  will  be  sanctified. 

''  I  wish  you  to  write  an  affectionate  letter  to  William,  in- 
viting him  to  come  to  Christ.  We  must  not  sleep,  but  try 
now  to  have  our  family  converted." 


Dr.  Beecher  thus  describes  his  recovery  of  health  by 
means  of  working  on  his  farm : 
**  In  the  spring  of  this  year  I  bought  eight  acres  of  land 


COBBBSPOKDENCB,  1&22.  47  Y 

east  of  the  hoase.  Hired  a  maD,  bought  a  yoke  of  oxen, 
plow,  horse-cart,  and  went  to  work  every  day.  I  wanted 
something  to  do.  I  needed  to  breathe  the  fresh  air.  I  did 
not  hold  the  plow  myself.  I  had  to  experiment  to  find  how 
much  exercise  I  could  bear.    Thus  I  went  up. 

"  I  had  the  alders  down  at  the  bottom  of  the  east  lot  cut 
up,  broke  it  up,  and  planted  corn  and  potatoes.  Henry  and 
Charles  began  to  help  hoe  a  little.  I  didn't  study  a  sermon 
all  that  summer.  There  is  some  advantage  in  being  an  ex- 
tempore speaker.  'Squire  Langdon  used  to  say  that  when 
he  saw  me  out  digging  potatoes  late  Saturday  night,  he  ex- 
pected a  good  sermon  Sunday  morning.  Slowly  but  surely 
I  got  up.    Not  one  in  a  hundred  would  have  done  it." 


478  .   AUTOBIOGBAFHT. 


CHAPTER  LXVI. 

COBBE8PONDENCE,  1822.* 

Dr.Beecher  to  Catharine. 

"  New  Haren,  May  80, 1822. 

**My  dsab  Child, — On  entering  the  city  last  evening, 
the  first  intelligence  I  met  filled  my  heart  with  pain.  It  is 
all  but  certain  that  Professor  Fisher  is  no  more.   ♦    ♦    *    * 

^^Thns  have  perished  our  earthly  hopes,  plans,  and  pros- 
pects. Thus  the  hopes  of  Yale  College,  and  of  our  country, 
and,  I  may  say,  of  Europe,  which  had  begun  to  know  his 
promise,  are  dashed.  The  waves  of  the  Atlantic,  commis- 
sioned by  Heaven,  have  buried  them  all. 

"And  now,  my  child,  I  must  say  that,  though  my  heart  in 
the  beginning  was  set  upon  this  connection,  I  have  been 
kept  from  ever  enjoying  it  by  anticipation,  even  for  an  hour. 
The  suspense  in  which  my  life  has  been  held,  the  threaten- 
ing of  your  life,  with  the  impression  of  uncertainty  about  all 
things  earthly  taught  me  by  the  lesson  of  the  last  six  years, 
have  kept  my  anticipations  in  check,  and  prepared  me,  with 
less  surg^se  and  severity  of  disappointment,  to  meet  this 
new  scene  of  sorrow. 

"  On  that  which  will  force  itself  on  your  pained  heart 
with  respect  to  the  condition  of  his  present  existence  in  the 

*  The  letters  of  Dr.  Beecher  contained  in  the  present  and  two  follow- 
ing chapters  were,  some  of  them,  published  in  their  time,  and  were  con- 
sidered as  affording  one  of  the  best  presentations  of  New  England  theolo- 
gy which  had  then  appeared.  In  order  that  they  may  be  foUy  appreci- 
ated, the  letters  to  which  they  refer  have  also  been  inserted. 


CORBSSPOm>KKCE,  1822.  4f9 

eternal  Btate^  I  can  only  say  that  many  did  and  will  indulge 
the  hope  that  he  was  pions,  though  without  such  evidence 
as  cansed  him  to  indulge  hope. 

^'  This  is  not,  in  minds  of  his  cast,  an  uncommon  fact.  Be- 
sides, during  the  war  of  elements,  there  was  given  a  pro- 
tracted  period  of  warning,  increasing  in  pressure  and  cer- 
tainty of  issue,  which  afforded  space  for  submission,  and 
powerful  means  to  a  mind  already  furnished  with  knowl- 
edge, and  not  unacquainted  with  the  strivings  of  the  Spirit. 

"  But  on  this  subject  we  can  not  remove  the  veil  which 
God  allows  to  rest  upon  it,  and  have  no  absolute  resting- 
place  but  submission  to  his  perfect  administration. 

"  And  now,  my  dear  child,  what  will  you  do  ?  Will  you 
turn  at  length  to  God,  and  set  your  affections  on  things 
above,  or  cling  to  the  shipwrecked  hopes  of  earthly  good  ? 
Will  you  send  your  thoughts  to  heaven  and  find  peace,  or 
to  the  clifb,  and  winds,  and  waves  of  Ireland,  to  be  afilUcted, 
tossed  with  tempest,  and  not  comforted  ? 

^*  Till  I  come,  farewell.  May  God  preserve  you,  and  give 
me  the  joy  of  beholding  life  spring  up  from  death." 

Ca/tharine  to  Mhoard, 

"Jane  4, 1822. 

''Your  letter  came  at  a  time  when  no  sympathy  could 
soothe  a  grief '  that  knows  not  consolation's  name.'  Yet  it 
was  not  so  much  the  ruined  hopes  of  future  life,  it  was  dis- 
"  may  and  apprehension  for  his  immortal  spirit.  Oh,  Edward, 
where  is  he  now  ?  Are  the  noble  faculties  of  such  a  siind 
doomed  to  everlasting  woe,  or  is  he  now  with  our  dear 
mother  in  the  mansions  of  the  blessed  ? 

''When  I  think  of  the  scene  of  her  death-bed  there  is  a 
mournful  pleasure.  She  died  in  peace,  and  the  eyes  that 
were  closing  on  earth  were  to  open  in  heaven.    But  when 


4^0  AUTOBIOaBAPHT. 

I  think  of  the  last  sad  moments  of  his  short  life — ^the  hor- 
rors  of  darkness,  the  winds,  the  waves,  and  tempest,  of  his 
sufferings  of  mind  when  cabled  to  give  up  life  and  all  its 
bright  prospects,  and  be  hurried  alone^a  disembodied  spirit, 
into  unknown,  eternal  scenes,  oh,  how  dreaSful,  how  ago- 
nizing ! 

"  Could  I  but  be  assured  that  he  was  now  forever  safe,  I 
would  not  repine.  I  ought  not  to  repine  now,  for  the  Judge 
of  the  whole  earth  can  not  but  do  right. 

'*  My  dear  brother,  I  am  greatly  afflicted.  I  know  not 
where  to  look  for  comfort.  The  bright  prospects  that  turn- 
ed my  thoughts  away  from  heaven  are  air  destroyed;  and 
now  that  I  have  nowhere  to  go  but  to  God,  the  heavens 
are  closed  against  me,  and  my  prayer  is  shut  out. 

*'I  feel  that  my  affliction  is  what  I  justly  deserve.  Oh 
that  God  would  take  possession  of  the  heart  that  'He  has 
made  desolate,  for  this  world  can  never  comfort  me.  I  feel 
to  the  very  soul  that  it  is  He  alone  who  hath  wounded  that 
can  make  whole. 

"But  I  am  discouraged,  and  at  a  loss  what  to  do.  I  feel 
no  realizing  sense  of  my  sinfulness,  no  love  to  the  Redeem- 
er, nothing  but  that  I  am  unhappy  and  need  religion ;  but 
where  or  how  to  find  it  I  know  not. 

"  I  know  you  will  pray  for  me,  that  you  would  comfort 
me  if  you  knew  how.  But  the  help  of  man  faileth.  The 
dearest  friends  can  only  stand  and  look  on ;  it  is  God  alone 
that  can  help.  In  these  lines  I  wrote  last  Stinday  eve  you 
will  see  the  feelings  of  every  hour : 

"  *«7en»  tmiOi  unto  her,  Woman,  why  weepett  thouf 

*'  I  weep  not  that  the  veil  of  night 

Is  spread  o'er  morning's  brightest  sky, 
That  Nature's  beauties  charm  no  more, 
While  hope  no  more  lights  np  my  cyo. 


COBRBSPOVDBXCB,  1822.  481 

'*  I  weep  not  that  my  youthful  hopes 
All  wrecked  beneath  the  billows  rest, 
Nor  that  the  heavy  hand  of  Death 
Has  stilled  the  heart  that  loved  me  best 

"But  ah  I  I  mourn  the  moral  night 

That  shrouds  my  eyes  in  deepest  gloom ; 
I  mourn  that,  tempest-toss*d  on  earth, 
I  hare  in  heayen  no  peaceful  home. 

"I  mourn  I  have  no  heavenly  friend 
On  whom  my  empty  heart  can  rest ; 
Nor  that  best  Father's  tender  love 
To  guide  my  way  and  make  me  bless'd. 

*'  Oh  Thou  who  hast  made  desolate, 
Take  this  lone  heart  for  thine  abode ; 
Then  father,  friend,  and  home  shall  be 
In  Thee,  my  Savior  and  my  (3od.*' 

The  Same. 

«*  Litchfield,  July,  1822. 

'^  Deab  Bbothbb, — When  I  began  to  write  to  you  on 
the  subject  which  now  occupies  my  thoughts,  it  was  with  a 
secret  feeling  that  you  could  do  something  to  remove  my 
difficulties.  But  this  feeling  is  all  gone  now.  I  have  turn- 
ed to  you,  and  to  father,  and  to  every  earthly  friend,  and 
have  again  and  again  felt  to  my  very  soul  that  it  is  a  case 
in  which  '  the  help  of  man  faileth.' 

**It  is  the  feeling  of  entire  gn^ilt,  willful  and  inexcusable, 
which  gives  all  the  consistency  and  excellency  to  the  Gos- 
pel. Without  this  the  justice  of  Gh>d  is  impaired,  His 
mercy  is  destroyed,  the  grace  and  condescension  of  Jesus 
Christ  is  veiled,  and  the  aid  of  the  Blessed  Spirit  made  void. 

««This  feeling  I  can  not  awaken  in  my  heart,  nor  is  my 
understanding  entirely  convinced  that  it  ought  to  exist, 
any  fieirther  than  this,  that  I  perceive  in  the  Word  of  Q* 

X 


482  AUTOBIOGRAPHT. 

that  the  guilt  of  man  is  considered  as  without  excuse  by 
his  Maker.  I  give  the  assent  which  a  shortsighted,  fallible 
creature  ought  to  give  to  Omniscience,  but  it  is  an  assent 
to  authority,  not  to  conviction. 

''  The  difficulty  in  my  mind  originates  in  my  views  of  the 
doctrine  of  original  Bin,  such  views  as  seem  to  me  sanction- 
ed not  only  by  my  own  experience,  but  by  the  language  of 
the  Bible. 

^'  Suppose  a  man  bom  with  an  ardent  love  of  liquor,  in 
circumstances,  too,  when  temptations  are  on  every  side. 
He  is  withheld  by  parental  authority  in  some  degree,  and  is 
daily  instructed  in  the  evils  of  intemperance.  He  sees  it 
and  feels  it,  and  resolves  to  abstain ;  but  the  burning  thirst 
impels  him  on,  and  he  swallows  the  maddening  potion. 
Now  should  we  not  pity  such  a  man  as  well  as  blame? 
True,  he  is  guilty ;  but  does  not  the  burning  thirst  implant- 
ed by  nature  plead  in  extenuation  ?  Do  we  not  feel  that  he 
is  unfortunate  as  well  as  guilty  ? 

^'  Now  take  your  sister  as  a  parallel  case.  I  find  implant- 
ed within  me  a  principle  of  selfishness,  as  powerful  and  in- 
veterate as  the  love  of  drink  in  the  other  case,  in  the  exist- 
ence of  which  I  am  altogether  involuntary.  To  restraii^ 
the  indulgence  of  this,  I  have  had  the  instruction  of  parents, 
the  restraints  of  education,  the  commands  and  threatenings 
of  God ;  but  these  have  all  proved  vain.  I  have  gone  on 
indulging  this  propensity  year  after  year,  and  time  has  only 
added  new  strength  to  it. 

*'  Now  the  judgments  of  Ood  have  brought  me  to  a  stand. 
I  am  called  to  look  back  upon  past  life,  and  consider  what 
I  have  done.  It  is  a  painful  and  humiliating  retrospection. 
I  see  nothing  but  the  most  debasing  selfishness  and  deprav- 
ity in  my  heart,  and  this  depravity  equally  displayed  in  all 
the  actions  of  my  past  life. 


COBBESPONDBNCE,  1822.  488 

^^ But, alas!  this  extenuating  feeling  blunts  the  force  of 
conviction.  I  see  that  I  am  guilty,  very  guilty,  but  I  can 
not  feel,  neither  can  I  convince  my  understanding,  that  lam 
totaUy  and  utterly  withovt  excuse.  I  see  that  I  could  have 
done  otherwise,  and  that  I  had  the  most  powerful  motives 
that  could  be  applied  to  induce  me  to  do  so,  and.  I  feel  that 
I  am  guilty,  but  not  guilty  as  if  I  had  received  a  nature 
pure  and  uncontaminated.  I  can  not  feel  this ;  I  never  shall 
by  any  mental  exertion  of  my  own ;  and  if  I  ever  do  feel  it, 
it  will  be  by  the  interference  of  divine  Omnipotence,  and 
the  work  would  seem  to  me  miraculous. 

"  When  I  have  confessed  my  sins  to  God,  there  has  al- 
ways been  a  lurking  feeling,  though  I  sometimes  have  not 
been  aware  of  it,  that,  as  God  had  formed  me  with  this  per- 
verted inclination,  he  was,  as  a  merciful  being,  obligated  to 
grant  some  counteracting  aid.  Now  I  perceive  how  ruin- 
ous this  feeling  is,  how  contrary  to  the  whole  tenor  of  the 
Gospel.  But  is  there  not  a  real  difficulty  on  the  subject  ? 
Is  there  any  satisfactory  mode  of  explaining  this  doctrine,  so 
that  we  can  perceive  its  consistency  while  the  heart  is  un- 
renewed ? 

» 

'^  If  all  was  consistent  and  right  in  the  apprehension  of 
my  understanding,  there  would  be  no  such  temptation  to 
skepticism  as  I  feel  growing  within  me.  I  feel  all  the  time 
as  if  there  was  something  wrong — something  that  is  unrea- 
sonable. Sometimes  I  think  the  Bible  is  misunderstood, 
and  that  there  must  be  promises  of  aid  to  the  exertions  of 
the  unrenewed.  But  then  I  find  as  great  difficulties  on  that 
side.  There  have  been  moments  when  I  have  been  so  per- 
plexed and  darkened  as  to  feel  that  no  one  could  tell  what 
was  truth  from  the  Bible. 

''  But  the  prevailing  feeling  is  that '  these  things  are  so ;' 
that  I  have  been  instructed  in  the  truth,  and  that,  if  I  ever 


i84  AXTTOBIOGBAPHY. 

see  the  consistency  and  excellency  of  the  trnth,  it  will  be 
through  the  enlightening  operation  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

*'  But  I  am  most  unhappy  in  the  view  which  this  doctrine 
presents  of  my  own  state-  and  that  of  my  fellow-creatures, 
except  the  few  who  are  redeemed  from  the  curse.  When 
I  look  at  little  Isabella,  it  seems  a  pity  that  she  ever  was 
bom,  and  that  it  would  be  a  mercy  if  she  was  taken  away. 
I  feel  as  Job  did,  that  I  could  curse  the  day  in  which  I  was 
bom.  I  wonder  that  Christians  who  realize  the  worth  of 
an  immortal  soul  should  be  willing  to  give  life  to  immortal 
minds,  to  be  placed  in  such  a  dreadful  world. 

*^  I  see  that  my  feelings  are  at  open  war  with  the  doc- 
trines of  grace.  I  don^t  know  that  I  ever  felt  enmity  to 
God,  or  doubted  of  his  justice  and  mercy,  for  I  can  more 
easily  doubt  the  truth  of  these  doctrines  than  the  rectitude 
of  God. 

'^I  feel  that  my  case  is  almost  a  desperate  one,  for  the 
use  of  the  means  of  grace  have  a  directly  contrary  effect  on 
my  mind  from  others.  The  more  I  struggle,  the  less  guilty 
I  feel ;  yet  I  dare  not  give  them  up. 

^'Thus  my  hours  are  passing  away  as  the  smoke,  and  my 
days  as  a  tale  that  is  told.  I  lie  down  in  sorrow  and  awake 
in  heaviness,  and  go  mourning  all  the  day  long.  There  is 
no  help  beneath  the  sun,  and  whether  God  will  ever  grant 
His  idd  He  only  knows." 

Dr.  JBeecher  to  JEchoard  (accompanying  the  foregoing). 

"Augnst  2,1822. 

''  Catharine's  letter  will  disclose  the  awfully  interesting 
state  of  her  mind.  There  is  more  movement  than  there  ever 
existed  before,  more  feeling,  more  interest,  more  anxiety ; 
and  she  is  now,  you  perceive,  handling  edge-tools  with  pow- 
erful grasp. 


COBBESPOXDENCB,  1822.  485 

'<  Brother  Hawes  talked  with  her,  and  felt  the  difficalties 
and  peculiarities  of  her  case.  I  have  at  times  been  at  my 
wit's  end  to  know  what  to  do.  Bat  I  conclude  nothing 
safe  can  be  done  but  to  assert  ability,  and  obligation,  and 
guilt  upon  divine  authority,  throwing  in,  at  the  same  time, 
as  much  collateral  light  from  reason  as  the  case  admits  of, 
and  taking  down  the  indefensible  positions  which  deprav- 
ity, and  fear,  and  selfishness,  and  reason  set  up.  In  other 
words,  I  answer  objections  and  defend  the. ways  of  God. 

*' After  all,  we  must  pray.  I  am  not  without  hope  that 
the  crisis  approaches  in  which  submission  will  end  the 
strife.  She  is  hard  pressed,  and,  if  not  subdued,  I  should 
fear  the  consequencea."    *    ♦    ♦ 

The  following  was  written  about  this  time  by  Catharine, 
and  left  on  her  father's  writing-table : 

*'  I  am  like  a  helpless  being  placed  in  a  frail  bark,  with 
only  a  slender  reed  to  guide  its  way  on  the  surface  of  a 
swifl  current  that  no  mortal  power  could  ever  steiii,  which 
is  ever  bearing  to  a  tremendous  precipice,  where  is  inevita- 
ble destruction  and  despair. 

''  If  I  attempt  to  turn  the  swift  course  of  my  skifi^  it  is 
only  to  feel  how  powerful  is  the  stream  that  bears  it  along. 
If  I  dip  my  frail  oar  in  the  wave,  it  is  only  to  see  it  bend  to 
its  resistless  force. 

"  There  is  One  standing  upon  the  shore  who  can  relieve 
my  distress,  who  is  all  powerful  to  save ;  but  He  regards  me 
not.  I  struggle  only  to  learn  my  own  weakness,  and  sup- 
plicate only  to  perceive  how  unavailing  are  my  cries,  and  to 
complain  that  He  is  unmindful  bf  my  distress.'' 

The  following  reply  was  written  by  Dr.  Beecher  on  the 
reverse  of  the  sheet  of  paper: 


486  AUTOBIOGBAPHT. 

*'  I  saw  that  frail  boat  with  feeble  oar,  and  that  rapid  cur- 
rent bearing  onward  to  destruction  an  immortal  mind,  and 
hastened  from  above  to  save.  Traveling  in  the  greatness 
of  my  strength,  I  have  pressed  on  through  tears  and  blood 
to  her  rescue. 

"  It  is  many  days,  many  years,  I  have  stood  on  the  bank 
unnoticed.  I  have  called,  and  she  refused ;  I  stretched  out 
my  hand,  and  she  would  not  regard.  At  length  I  sunk  the 
bark  in  which  all  her  earthly  treasure  was  contained,  and, 
having  removed  the  attraction  that  made  her  heedless,  again 
I  called,  and  still  I  call  unheard.  My  rod  has  been  stretched 
out  and  my  staff  offered  in  vain.  While  the  stream  pre- 
vails and  her  oar  bends,  within  her  reach  is  My  hand,  mighty 
to  save,  and  she  refuses  its  aid. 

"  What  shall  I  do  ?  Yet  a  little  longer  will  I  wait,  and 
if  she  accept  my  proffered  dd,  then  shall  her  feet  be  planted 
on  a  rock,  and  a  new  song  be  put  into  her  mouth.  If  she 
refuse,  the  stream  will  roll  on,  and  the  bark,  the  oar,  and 
the  voyager  be  seen  no  more." 

Dr.  BeecJier  to  Catharine. 

"September  25, 1822. 

"  Dear  Catharine, — ^That  your  mind  has  found  a  kind 
of  composure  which  prevents  your  repining  at  what  is  past, 
or  wishing  to  change  the  present,  and  leaves  alive  only  the 
desire,  to  find  happiness  in  God,  though  not  religion,  is  a 
state  of  mind  more  propitious,  I  should  hope,  than  that  which 
has  preceded  it. 

"The  cessation  of  restless  impatience,  of  that  desperate 
importunity  to  be  delivered  soon,  or  to  cast  away  the  irk- 
some thoughts  of  religion,  is  also  a  favorable  change;  for, 
though  we  may  make  haste  to  do  our  duty,  we  have  no  right 
to  hasten  God  in  his  work  of  grace,  or  be  impatient  at  his 


COSBESPOKDEKCE,  1822.  487 

delay.  The  resignation  of  necessity  or  self-despair  whicli 
you  describe,  so  long  as  yoar  interest  and  exertions  are  not 
affected  by  it,  is  not  an  unfavorable  state  of  mind ;  and  your 
hope  that  God  will  do  something,  if  it  do  not  prevent  a 
sense  of  obligation  to  exercise  right  affections,  and  the  at- 
tempt daily  to  give  yourself  away  to  him,  is  a  correct  state 
of  feeling.  Our  expectation  is  from  God  only,  when  we 
have  done  all. 

"  The  character  of  Christ  by  Newton  as  merciful,  lovely, 
and  compassionate,  can  not  certainly  exceed  the  scriptural 
representation  or  the  reality ;  and  I  am  glad  that  your  va- 
cant eye  at  last  has  fixed  on  these  traits  of  his  character, 
and  your  sad  heart  begins  to  feel  that  he  does  hear  when 
you  pray,  and  does  pity.  If  he  did  not  hear  and  pity,  how 
could  he  be  'a  merciful  and  faithful  high-priest ?'  Read  the 
second  chapter  to  the  Hebrews. 

"  You  are  only  to  remember  that  he  hears  what  you  say, 
and  knows  what  you  feel,  and  pities  you  as  a  lost  sinner; 
and  that,  though  the  fact  may  encourage  our  supplication, 
we  must  not  mistake  the  reaction  of  selfish  gratitude  for 
gracious  affection. 

'*  His  entire  character  as  holy,  just,  and  good,  as  maintain- 
ing the  honor  and  government  of  God,  and  saving  from  sin, 
is  to  be  taken  into  view,  and,  on  the  ground  of  our  neces- 
sity and  his  sufficiency,  we  are  required  with  humble  bold- 
ness to  come  to  him. 

*^But  if  his  purity  and  justice  repel,  the  softer  traits  may 
come  in  to  encourage  our  approach  to  Him  who  will  in  no 
wise  cast  out  him  that  cometh. 

"  Oh  that  you  would  cast  yourself  affectionately  into  the 
hands  of  this  good,  merciful,  pitiful  Savior,  who  invites  you, 
weary  and  heavy  laden,  to  come  to  Him,  and  promises  to 
your  tempest-toss'd  spirit  rest. 


488  AITTOBIOGBAPBT. 

*'  Yoar  hopes,  from  the  proyidenoe  of  Qod  toward  yoa 
that  he  intends  to  do  something  for  you,  should  they  with- 
draw excitement  to  importunate  supplication  and  exertion, 
would  be  pejnicious ;  but  to  your  mind,  which  has  been  par- 
alyzed by  despondency,  hope  is  perhaps  the  medicine  you 
need,  and  which  the  great  Physician  intends  to  bless. 

*' And  yet  I  am  startled  at  the  tranquillity  produced  by 
readmg  Newton,  and  the  hope  that  God  will,  in  his  own 
good  time,  grant  you  comfort,  even  though  it  does  not  at 
all  abate  your  earnest  seeking.  Perhaps  it  is,  as  I  have 
sud,  no  greater  encouragement  than  you  may  need,  and  the 
tranquillity  may  not  be  dangerous.  I  fear  only  because  it 
is  precisely  the  effect  always  produced  by  such  directions 
as  Dr.  D  wight  used  to  give  to  awakened  sinners,  and  as  the 
English  divines  still  give. 

"Now  who  are  right,  the  Old  or  New  England  divines? 
As  to  the  proper  directions  to  be  given  to  awakened  sinners 
generally,  even  yon  may  be  certain.  When  you  consider 
the  character  of  man  as  entirely  depraved — when  you  consult 
your  own  cold,  selfish  heart,  or  read  the  requisitions  of  the 
law  and  the  Gospel,  and  their  exposition  by  the  apostles — 
if  God  does  not  demand  immediate  spiritual  obedience,  he 
does  not  demand  any  thing.  If  he  doe8,^hat  are  we  that 
we  should  release  sinners  from  the  requirements  of  God? 

"  And  as  to  using  the  means  of  grace,  what  are  the  means 
of  grace  but  the  requirements  of  God,  with  the  motives  by 
which  they  are  enforced  ?  Releasing  sinners  from  a  sense 
of  obligation  to  pray  immediately  and  always,  with  affec- 
tionate reliance  on  Christ  and  penitence  for  sin,  surely  does 
not  tend  to  make  them  pray  in  this  manner  of  themselves, 
and  surely  it  does  not  increase  the  probability  that  QoA  will 
make  them  obedient. 

"  God's  way  to  produce  obedience  in  sinners  is  to  require 


COBBBSPONBXKCX,  1822.  48